Cross country team sets new program high

By Jac Rhine

The Forester women’s cross country team finished 20th at nationals Nov. 17. This is the highest the team has placed in program history.

The 10-girl squad left for Vancouver, Wash., with high hopes and anticipations that were fueled by the campus encouragement. Junior Cendall Ogle said there was vast support on the HU campus for the team.

“The team has experienced a great amount of support from the campus community,” Ogle said. “Our floors, friends and family have supported us immensely. We even had several girls – Michelle Hoover, Sam Barclay, Courtney Baker, Kaitlyn Dremen and Amy Snider– show up with signs as we left around 5 a.m. for Nationals, cheering us on as we left.”

The team recorded 510 points at the rainy and muddy Washington course at nationals and had two runners who finished in the top 100. Sophomore Gretchen Spahr led the Foresters with a time of 19:09, and finished 47th overall. Ogle clocked in at 19:40 and was the 84th runner to cross the line.

This is the fourth time since 1999 that Huntington has been represented at the nationals. The previous program high was 23rd by the 2002 squad. This year’s team finished 20th overall after

The team took the opportunity at nationals to represent the school off the course as well. Sophomore Erin Rockey said that representing Huntington does not mean simply putting on a jersey and running.

“Representing Huntington does not mean just running or winning,” she said. “It is our goal to be a team that reflects a school that has good sportsmanship as well as Christian principles.”

Freshman Krista Wood agreed and added that their successes and failures in the season are attributed to God.

“Our aim is to sharpen each other as we progress through the season,” Wood said, “and no matter what the outcome, give the glory to God. Win or lose– it’s all in His hands.”

The team now will look forward to next season with the hope of returning to nationals. They will not graduate any runners, and now have the conference title to defend and a new program high to top.

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