By Charlie Walsh ‘23

The 2022-23 cross country team made history.

We are the 7th team in school history to qualify for state and regional champions for the fourth time in five years.

Sophomore Gavin O’Connor said, “As a team we had some ups and downs, but we were able to achieve what we wanted both individually and as a team.”

There were some rough patches, but I always knew we were capable of something big. The tipping point was the Peoria High Invite at Detweiller Park. We had an amazing day with six out of seven personal bests. Junior Danny Macis said, “The season seemed to be ordinary until the Peoria Invitational where we did great. That’s when I knew the season was going to be special.

In the following weeks after Peoria, we had a chance to win the regional championship at Midlothian Meadows. Our confidence was sky high, and we won. After a heartbreak loss last year, it felt great to reclaim what’s ours.

The celebration was short lived because sectionals were right around the corner-the biggest race of the season. We needed to place in the top seven in order to move on to state. We were confident we would place well, but anything can happen in a race like this. Everyone ran phenomenally, and the outcome was just as we expected. We placed 4th and had the opportunity to race the following week at state.

On race day, it was cold, wet, and muddy – just what we hoped. We had nothing to lose as we lined up for the last time of the season. I am happy to say that everyone left it all out there and raced at their full potential. It was an amazing day to cap off an amazing season.

Freshman Andrew Straley reflected on the big day: “It was a cool experience, and a good chance to prove myself, lined up against seniors with three more years of experience.