Girls Cross Country Runs at States, First Time in 20 Years

The+team+poses+alongside+their+second+place+trophy+from+the+Regional+cross+country+meet+at+Burke+Lake.+Each+runner+played+a+key+role+in+getting+the+trophy+as+they+ousted+Oakton+by+only+4+spots.+

The team poses alongside their second place trophy from the Regional cross country meet at Burke Lake. Each runner played a key role in getting the trophy as they ousted Oakton by only 4 spots.

Boden Gentile , Editor in Chief

On a brisk fall day at Great Meadows park in The Plains, Virginia, Langley’s women’s cross country team toed the line for the first time in over 20 years. Led by Lila Waters(18th), Hazel Calway(28th), and Elena Pesavento(62nd), the team finished 8th, coming off a 2nd place finish at the regional championship, just a week before. 

“By us being here, and making an appearance at states, we are setting a precedent for future teams. Which will help with our recruiting and help put our highschool on the map in terms of distance running, something we’ve wanted for a long time,” cross country coach Hannah Wolff said. 

The journey to states began on August 2nd, the first day of summer training. Since then, the team has built up their running skills with the help of coaches Gifford Krivak, Grant Petrie, and Hannah Wolff.  

“Hard work, putting in those miles. Not a lot of people would be willing to put in as many miles as they did so [making it to the state meet] is just a testament of that effort,” boys cross country captain Roan Toole said. 

However, this was not their only success of the year. Preceding states, the cross country team won the Glory Days Grill invitational, a meet with over 40 teams in attendance. In addition to Glory Days, the girls squad podiumed at 4 other meets of similar size throughout the year. 

“It’s cool to see the team going to the highest possible level that we can go to. [seeing them here] allows both the boys and girls teams to set a goal to be at states next year,” junior Kevin Farnsworth said. 

One of the key components of their success this year is the competitive environment formed from the success of several freshman runners like Madeline Spaner and Hazel Calway on the varsity squad, guided along by upperclassmen leadership from Langley’s top finisher, Lila Waters. 

“Coaches have been showing up for years and have put together a really strong training plan which all of our runners responded really well to, also… We’ve created a strong running culture in the building and outside, on the track, so I think that’s a big piece of this season’s success,” Wolff said.  

All in all, this team is known for their hard work and dedication to the sport, showcased by their efforts on and off the course. 

“I would not be surprised if [Langley runners] are passed out in the end, they will be giving it their all,” Toole said.  

All bundled up post-race, Langley cross country poses for a photo. Spectators and fellow cross country athletes showed up to watch both girls and boys races.