XC takes on large Fillmore Central meet

The cross country squad competed in a 19-team meet at Fillmore Central on Thursday, September 19.

The event marks the Jeffs’ biggest meet of the season thus far. The runners’ previous meets had 16, 13 and 8 teams competing respectively. The size of this particular meet along with other factors creates an intimidating environment.

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Senior Josephine Blatny jogs through a warm-up before the meet begins. Blatny led the Jeffs with an 11th place finish. Photo by: A. Buxton

“I was pretty nervous,” Erica Mosher ’21 said. “You never know exactly what’s going to happen. It was hot and I hadn’t ran the meet since freshman year since I was injured sophomore year.”

Four total medalists surfaced for the Jeffs: two in varsity and two in junior varsity. Josephine Blatny ’20 (11th), Alissa York ’22 (33rd), Mosher (43rd), Mariel Ramos ’22 (45th), Kacy Starck ’21 (50th) and Cora Tatro ’23 (58th) ran in the varsity competition for the girls and Ethan Smith ’22 (18th), Alekzander Hunter ’23 (39th), Riley Wood ’21 (59th), Alex Buxton ’22 (63rd), Brody Branson ’23 (73rd) and Seth Engelman ’23 (79th) ran for the boys. Also competing were Lyza Call ’23 (7th), Darby Paulsen ’20 (8th) and Montana Pingle ’23 (11th) for the junior varsity girls and Ethan Johnson ’23 (20th), Gavin Schramm ’22 (40th) and Connor Heidemann ’23 (44th) for the boys.

“The Fillmore Central meet is always a tough meet,” Head Cross Country Coach Kristi Peterson said. “So for Ethan and Josephine to get medals, that is awesome. Also, I was very happy for Darby and Lyza to get their first JV medals. The course was slightly different than last year, so it is difficult to compare times to last year. Also, we had many of our athletes run their best times of the season, so that is a positive.”

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The girls varsity squad pulls together for a pre-meet huddle. “My favorite part about Thursday was being able to cheer the JV on and having fun with my friends,” Erica Mosher ’21 said. “I really enjoy supporting my teammates because I feel like I can help make a difference. I know other people cheering me on sure helps me during my race.” Photo by: A. Buxton

The runners also had high temperatures to deal with. Despite being well into the month of September, the weather could not be described as cool. To perform well, the Jeffs had to battle through the conditions and continue working toward their personal goals.

“I think I did pretty well considering the heat and everything,” Mosher said. “I felt like I ran up the hills well and kept my pace up. My number one goal is to improve my PR time of 23:16 that I got at Syracuse last year. This is the best time I’ve ran out of all of my races from all seasons and I think I could beat it since I’ve improved at all but one meet so far this season.”

The Jeffs will run again at the Thayer Central invite this Thursday, September 26. As the season wears on, meets provide checkpoints for runners to evaluate their personal progress and the overall standing of the team. For Coach Peterson, the key to success lies in the mindset of each individual.

“We have great attitudes and that makes the season fun!” she said. “We want to keep improving each day and each meet. I want the fun, positive attitudes to continue. If that happens, we will be successful and fun things will happen for us as the year progresses.”