Cross Country matches historical best

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Photo by Kyle Dietsche

Senior Erin Jensik powers through the remaining course Saturday, Oct. 20.

The cross country team had high expectations as they began the state competition in Douglas and they did not disappoint.

The girls team placed eighth overall and the state meet was seen as a success. Senior Alex Vaira had a very strong finish to her last year and her dedication and hard work was really looked up to by the rest of the team. The girls team has a very bright future. They are returning many juniors next year including Katie Rotellini, Jennifer Custus, and Zoe Sherman. Also, the team has bright potential in Freshman Janika Sweeney and she will be a major contribution to a group of experienced runners next year.

The boys team took third overall and the top runner was Senior Michael Rotellini, who placed third. “It was clearly his best race of the year” said Coach Art Baures, “He peaked at just the right time for the state meet.” Rotellini had made it a personal goal to be in the top three in the state and he struggled with this throughout the season, at one point being ranked fifth in the state. “I really put my best effort together at the state meet” said Rotellini, and it showed as he led his team to doing extremely well. He also all-stated for the second year in a row.

Rotellini was followed by Sophomore runner Taylor Bruso who placed fourteenth, and finished in second place for the team. Bruso had an excellent race against a group of experienced runners and was very close to all-stating. He improved a tremendous amount over the course of the year and has become a team leader. Brusso has a bright future and the team looks forward to his presence on the team in upcoming years.

Senior Kyle Dietsche who placed twenty-second overall and finished third place on the team had another excellent performance as he battled through a cold during state and conference “He really stepped up and was a team leader this week” said Rotellini, who remarked on how all his teammates raced really well. Racing when a person is sick takes a lot of courage and dedication, which is something that Dietsche brings to the team.

Seniors Chris Garber, Paul Stadick, and Paul Romenjenko all helped contribute to taking third place by racing well. They are part of an elite group of seniors that have placed in the top three at state which has only been done three times in school history. They achieved it twice, showing the talent that the senior group possesses and all the hard work they put in to accomplishing a goal they had had ever since they started racing.

The team had had the goal to place in the top three at state all year and it was a very big success to achieve their goal. It was a really close race, with Cheyenne East very close behind the Broncs, finishing fourth just four points behind Sheridan, and Kelly Walsh only five points behind them. “It was probably our best performance all year” said Bruso, “Everyone raced very well.”

Overall the team had a very good year where both teams were able to maximize their talents and overcome adversities to accomplish their goals.