Girls cross country remains confident

Spencer Levinson, Copy Editor

As the varsity girls cross country team prepares for its final four meets of the season, Coach Alex Lyons is confident in the team’s ability to perform. Even as star runner Sarah Barcelona ‘19 sits out with an injury, the team remains solid and confident going into the conference, regionals, sectionals and state meets.

“They don’t get too frustrated after a bad race or too excited after a good one,” Lyons said. “They continue to maintain consistent emotions. They make sure to take care of people that have a really good day or a really bad day by making sure girls who crush it during a particular race continue to work hard, while if a girl has a bad day they pick her up.”

The team experienced a tough loss in the form of a series of stress fractures for varsity runner Barcelona. Her injuries, which occurred in the summer and during the season, will take the rest of the fall to recover from.

“It is incredibly hard to be out this season,” Barcelona said. “Cross country holds a special place in my heart, and junior year is definitely an important year. However, my teammates are always amazingly supportive and seeing their success has been a silver lining.”

Despite losing their lead runner, this malleable team has done a great job of filling the gap.

“It’s hard when you lose a runner like that from your lineup,” Lyons said, “but the kids that we do have have done a great job of filling that space. It definitely hasn’t cost us in the way that it could have because other people have stepped up and made big contributions.”

The IHSA state meet will take place at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Nov. 4. Last year, the team placed fifth at the state meet and hopes to improve upon that this season.