Girls varsity cross country advances to State

The girls varsity cross country team has exceeded expectations this year. On Oct. 9 at Old Settlers Park, the Chaps clutched a victory in the District meet, crushing their opponents by eight points.

“Winning the District meet felt amazing,” junior Maddie Dawson said. “Girls Westlake Cross Country hasn’t accomplished this for many years, although we did get second last year. Winning felt like we had achieved something great, and gave us motivation to succeed in Regionals and hopefully State.”

Mental toughness is a big part of cross country. Athletes have to be able to run through the pain during races to make it to the finish line. This season was full of similar stress and pain that the Chaps had to overcome in order to reach their goal of District Champions.

“The hardest part about cross country is mental,” Maddie said. “Halfway through the race, most athletes hit a wall, and mentally pushing through that wall is extremely difficult. Your mind tells you to stop, but you have to ignore it. It’s the only way to succeed.”

Leadership on the team is important. The seniors this year have displayed great leadership and helped bring the Chaps to the Regional meet.

“I wouldn’t say one specific person displays the most leadership, because we all constantly work together and bring each other up,” Maddie said. “However, our two senior varsity runners, Chloe Harms and Carly Rose, have been cheering everyone on since their freshman year. Every athlete on the team is going to miss having them around next year.”

The Chaps had a devastating loss in an important meet the week prior to District.

“A big obstacle the team had to overcome this year was the McNeil Meet,” Maddie said. “We didn’t do our best, and knew we had to recover for District the next week. Luckily we did, and claimed the first place title.”

On Oct. 22 at Corpus Christi the Chaps ran in the regional race and placed third to make it to the State meet which is Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.