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Two runners qualify for State meet

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Sophomore Kelli Tosic and junior Caroline Riss qualified for the State meet at Sectionals on October 28, making them the first female cross country State qualifiers in school history. Sophomore Kelli Tosic and junior Caroline Riss qualified for the State meet at Sectionals on October 28, making them the first female cross country State qualifiers in school history.

At the Sectional meet, Tosic came in ninth place, and Riss came in 13th. The week before was Regionals, and the team as a whole came in fifth place, with Tosic in fourth and Riss in tenth place individually. “It was really cool. Last year, I was more towards seventh or further back, so it was nice to be able to improve in place, and also it was the fastest time I’ve gotten on that course,” Tosic said.

In order to prepare for State, the girls are training while avoiding overexertion.

“We’re just training as usual to avoid overexerting ourselves. We want to be prepared, but mostly we are just excited to be going to State,” Riss said.

The cross country coaches have adopted an attitude that encourages runners to compete with their own goals in mind.

“In cross country, we are always looking to compete, whether it’s against other runners, their teammates, or the clock. We try to keep things simple. We approach every race the same, whether it’s a dual or a big invite. As a coach we want them to feel prepared and ready to go and give their best effort and not quit,” DeStephano said.

According to sophomore Gabrielle Conceicao, the team accomplished their goals and moved forward because they came together as a team and pushed themselves in order to get better.

“We are like a family, so it is easy to be there for each other and to push each other to do our best,” Conceicao said.

The state competition will be held Nov. 4 at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Illinois.

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Two runners qualify for State meet