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Cross Country Finishes Strong at State

Boys+varsity+runners%2C+Junior+Henry+Hampel%2C+Senior+Parker+Stowers%2C+Senior+Christian+Jimenez%2C+Sophomore+Ethan+Jimenez%2C+Senior+Henry+Slack%2C+Senior+Will+Tribick%2C+and+Junior+Ben+Henry+celebrating+victoriously+on+the+podium+after+the+state+meet.+%28Credit%3A+Whitney+Sweet%29.
Boys varsity runners, Junior Henry Hampel, Senior Parker Stowers, Senior Christian Jimenez, Sophomore Ethan Jimenez, Senior Henry Slack, Senior Will Tribick, and Junior Ben Henry celebrating victoriously on the podium after the state meet. (Credit: Whitney Sweet).

Cross Country’s 2023 season ended Nov. 4, culminating with the state meet at Carrollton High School. Four months of hard work were rewarded with the ending results of the state meet. Going into the meet, the team had spent the season rebuilding, wanting to improve after the loss of last year’s seniors. Boys finished third overall for the second year in a row and girls sixth overall, a big jump from being ranked 11th before the meet. 

Girl’s varsity runners, Junior Avery Luce, Sophomore Nicole Papara, Senior Audrey Jennings, Junior Elizabeth Stamey, Senior Elise Mulkey, Senior Mallory Holbert, and Junior Erin Gibbons smiling big before the race. (Credit: Whitney Sweet)

Varsity runners participating in the state meet 5k race included: seniors Christian Jimenez, Will Tribick, Parker Stowers and Henry Slack; juniors Ben Henry and Henry Hampel and sophomore Ethan Jimenez. The girls team included: seniors Audrey Jennings, Elise Mulkey, and Mallory Holbert, juniors Elizabeth Stamey, Erin Gibbons and Avery Luce, and sophomore Nicole Papera. 

On Nov. 3, varsity runners along with backup runners and support were sent off with big congratulations and smiles from the traditional school send-off with students lining the hall as they traveled to Carrollton GA, spending the night before together to prepare.  

Papera said, “The night before we ate at Olive Garden and mentally prepared, by walking though the course and meditation.” 

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Jimenez placed second with a time of 16:08.69, following was his sophomore brother, Ethan Jimenez in ninth place with a time of 16:42.32. A once in a lifetime moment for the two siblings to finish first and second for Roswell. Cross Country Coach Whitney Sweet said, “We are led by a very strong duo… They consistently finish near the front of most races and are very consistent in their performances.” 

Senior Elise Mulkey passing the competition in her final moments of the race. (Credit: Alex Brust)

The girls had two runners place in the top 20, Elizabeth Stamey placed the highest in 15th with a time of 19:53.07, following close behind was Nicole Papera, in 17th place with a time of 20:08.14.  

Stamey, who finished first for Roswell’s girls, performance was an incredible fate, but it would not have been real without feelings of anxiety. She said, “Before the race I was feeling good but a little nervous and to get in the right mindset, I listened to music.” Additionally, Stamey added, the coaches added tons of support.  

Holbert who placed 77th of how the actual meet would be, to get them into the correct mindset which is an important part for running long distances in this meaningful 5K.

Junior Ben Henry pushes through the race with determination. (Credit: Alex Brust)

Furthermore, Sweet said, “We’ve struggled with motivation over the years, but this group of girls were truly dedicated each practice to achieving their team goals and we could feel a difference in the energy at practice.” Being able to see these big improvements means a lot, and only helps benefit the team.

Next season, Sweet says she can only hope for the best with Roswell’s long record of making it to the state championship. The varsity boys have gone the last eight years in a row and the varsity girls have gone the last six years in a row. Last year, however, at state these talented runners broke many records, and runners had many personal bests. As for the seasons to come, Sweet looks forward to the upcoming seniors, new runners, and skills they will bring to the team.

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Abby Fisher, Staff Writer
Abby Fisher is a sophomore at Roswell, and this is her second year as a staff writer for The Sting. When she is not writing, Abby run's track, enjoys traveling to new places, and spending time with friends.

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