The Path to State

Katie+and+Teammate+Abby+Santoro+at+State+Meet

Katie Carr

Katie and Teammate Abby Santoro at State Meet

McKenna Hixon, Staff Writer

There are some sports that go overlooked in Keller amidst the hype for the big names such as football, basketball, and volleyball. One of these underappreciated sports is girl’s cross country, who made it to, and won state this year. I talked to girl’s varsity cross country runner Katie Carr about her experience on the team this year, and what the path to state was like.

Katie joined cross country last year as a freshman to stay in shape for soccer season, as soccer was her primary focus, but after joining Katie fell in love and now cross country is the sport she focuses on at school.

Katie states that initially the training was extremely difficult as it was like “nothing [she’d] ever done before. It was a lot of mileage everyday, sometimes getting up to eleven miles.” Eventually the high mileage grew on Katie and she looked to her morning runs as a time to push herself and think. Not to mention as the season went on she became extremely close with the other runners.

Fast forward to the beginning of this cross country season, Keller Girls Cross Country was expected to win state as they won 3rd at State last year and had no seniors graduate that year. As one could expect the season had a different atmosphere with all the feelings that could lead up to a potential state win. When asked if this season was harder, Katie responded, “I wouldn’t say it was hard, but more exciting that we knew that this year could be special and we could make school history.”

This year cross country stepped up the intensity of their workouts to maintain the pace in the race for state. Coach Zaring also encouraged the girls everyday and reminded them of their goal and that everyday was the chance to get better.

For Katie personally, this season was different specifically as she recovered from a hip injury that had bothered her from her intense cross country and soccer schedules. However the team was “a lot more focused, [they] knew that [they] and everyone wanted to be apart of it so everyone was working hard and trying to make the top seven so they could be part of the state team.”

As the season progressed Keller cross country picked up speed and the train to state couldn’t be stopped. Keller Girls XC won state and beat second place Southlake Carroll by forty points.

The season hasn’t lost speed yet though. Following state, they had a Nike South Race which is a combination of a few Southern States racing against each other. They got second there, which means they’re advancing onto Nike Nationals in Oregon. This culminates with their Cross banquet in January.

Our Keller Cross Country doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as they deserve,and I hope this served as insight into their tough season, and the season of a very talented runner.