XC’s youth movement heads downstate

Charis Franks, Staff Writer

This weekend, for the first time since 2005, the Cary-Grove girls cross country team will be competing at state.

While they are confident going into the competition, they’re not setting their sights on the top prize. Instead, they’re keeping focus on the smaller victories that can lead to the big one.

“We’re not going to try and win, but we’re going to chase down some of our competition from the postseason,” sophomore Allison Drage said. She said that they would like to beat Mt. Prospect in particular.

The team all agreed that they are not doing anything special to prepare for state.

“We don’t want to change anything,” one runner said. “We’re going to do the same thing, just work a little harder.”

For a mostly underclassman team, made up of three freshmen, three sophomores and one senior, the team has done extremely well this season, winning their conference and advancing to state with high expectations.

When the team members talked about their success in the postseason, they gave a special shoutout to Libby Hansen, the team’s only senior.

“She really carried us this season,” one runner said. “We’re going to miss her next season!” Overall, they said that they were really excited about how well they did in the postseason, and that that was when their best running happened.

The 2017 season has been full of highlights for the C-G team. They have not only grown in their running ability, but mentally as well. One specific moment, they said, really had a positive impact on the team.

“Teagan fell during a race,” Jessie Hill said, laughing. “We felt bad at first, but afterwards, it was a really great bonding moment for the team.”

Sectionals, she added, was a very empowering meet. It was thunderstorming, but C-G had the home-course advantage.

“Some of the other teams kind of underestimated our course,” she said, and the C-G runners ended up placing fourth, getting them to state.

Being made up of mostly underclassmen could be seen as a disadvantage, but many of the girls said that they think it will help them in the years to come. The same people that brought C-G to state this year will be able to compete for two or three more years, and they are hoping they will continue to bond as a team and improve as runners.