BY JULIA SWAIN
In a year where COVID-19 dominated the sport of cross country, the Wadsworth girls cross country team persevered and was able to do something that they have only done a handful of times: qualify for states in Columbus, Ohio.
The last time the team qualified was in 2018, when they finished 14th. Clare Nicholas, a freshman at the time, led the way, placing 22nd.
Nicholas herself was the only runner to qualify last year, the team falling short in the regional championships at 15th place. This year, however, the team squeaked by at regionals at Boardman High School in Youngstown, Ohio, taking the 8th and final spot to qualify for states.
“I am really excited to run one last time with my team since we all worked so hard to get to this point and have been working together for a few years now,” said Senior Michaela Davis before the race. “I’m not sure how we will place overall, but I’m excited to all run together at a super fast course.”
Davis also voiced her excitement to race in the atmosphere that states provides, which she admitted is unlike any other race.
“I am looking forward to the meet itself because the atmosphere at state is so much more exciting than at a normal meet and I am excited to be competing among the best teams in the state,” said Davis.
The girls team raced at 4 PM on Saturday and placed 10th with Nicholas and freshman Kailyn Biecker leading the way, placing 15th and 20th respectively.
Coach Zach Humrichouser spoke highly of the girls team, stating how proud he was of the team and all of their accomplishments this year, despite all of the hardships they faced.
“These girls believed in each other even during stretches when it seemed they were so far away from their goals,” said Humrichouser. “I am so proud of these girls for dreaming big and loving each other.”
Humrichouser also voiced his excitement for the years to come, stating that the class of 2021 specifically helped set the bar high for the future of Wadsworth cross country.
“The class of 2021 has set the bar high for wadsworth cross country and the girls program is now entering the discussion of being recognized as one of the stronger programs in the entire state,” said Humrichouser. “I’m excited to see how the next group of girls will write their own chapter in our program’s history.”
Needless to say, in a year where everything has seemed to go wrong, the Wadsworth girls cross country team seemed to do everything right to put themselves in a position to succeed at the state championships.