A young Athens’ Cross Country team prepares for Regional meet Saturday< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens Girls’ Cross Country team have their sights set on a regional crown and a trip to the state meet.
After a dominant showing at the division round of the OHSAA tournament Oct. 22, the Bulldogs quickly turned around to compete at regionals Saturday.
Athens wrapped up Saturday’s contest in second place with confidence.
“I definitely think we can make it to state,” freshman Eva Riley said. “And I really hope we can place well then.”
For now, the Bulldogs are focused on the process.
“Just with cross country running, and really any kind of training, we talk about the process,” head coach Adam Gonczy said. “There are certain ingredients that we want to do to get strong in our run. We just want to piece together one good run after another and stack them up.”
Riley is one of four freshman who placed in the top five for the team.
“It’s a great sign that means we pretty much have the whole team coming back next year,” Gonczy said. “Our junior high program has been strong so we got some solid eighth graders coming up, and some really solid seventh graders. We are going to be reloading not rebuilding.”
It’s a young core with a strong bond, racing for each other.
“My motivation for running is definitely the social aspect of it,” freshman Jillian Bourque said. “I love being around these people. It’s like a second family for me.”
For some, it’s the driving force behind the times posted.
“It’s just like the friends that I’ve made along the way,” junior Samantha Layton said. “I just moved here so this is a really big help for me.”
Eight runners from the Rio Grande division are making the trip to Pickerington for a shot at a state title.
The regional meet time is set for 1:15 p.m.