The XC Girls Race to Win State

Gemma Mueller-Hill, Staff Writer

Boom! The sound of the starting gun echoes throughout Boling Park as Roswell’s top seven female runners compete head to head with rivals Alpharetta, Cherokee, Etowah, Milton, and Woodstock High Schools for a chance to run at the 2020 State Championship. After a cold and rainy 3.1 miles, the girls triumphed, taking 2nd place at the Region Meet and securing their spot in the lineup for state. Check Out Region Results at MileSplitGA.

           With the state race now in sight, preparation and training has been accelerated to full speed. Top runner and junior Lynley Blocker describes what the week leading up to state looks like for her: “I am stretching and rolling my legs each night and visualizing the race, along with drinking lots of water everyday.” Senior XC runner Julia Haley also agrees that mental readiness is vital to preparation for state, saying “Personally, I am trying to get a lot of sleep in preparation for state.”

           The state course is known to be one centered around the strength and endurance of a runner rather than the typical meets ran throughout the season that are focused on speed. This means, as Blocker says, “the course is pretty tough and hilly.” However, one upside to the state course selection is that the forecast currently shows that it is going to be around 60 degrees, which Blocker says is “going to be perfect for running,” opposed to the below freezing temperatures experienced in previous years at state.  

Senior XC runners Mary Rains and Julia Haley celebrating after racing their last ever cross-country race, the State Championship!
Photo by RHS Senior and Varsity Runner, Julia Haley

           Roswell’s top competition at state is going to be Walton, who has won four state championships and have placed in the top five more than 15 times for cross-country. To see more information about Walton High School Cinder Club click here. In comparison to Roswell, who has never won a state championship.

           Roswell’s XC team bringing home the trophy at state would be a monumental accomplishment and when asked how the girls are working towards this victory, Julia Haley answered, “the last two weeks we went on hard workouts and longer runs, but the week leading up to state we are going to take it pretty easy.”

           A question frequently raised is how big sporting events, like the cross-country state championship, are going to differ because of the ongoing global pandemic. When asked about these impending changes, Haley responded, “I hope people take it seriously” and Blocker expressed similar concern and added, “we won’t be able to stay together as a team the night before the race,” which in previous years had been a chance for the team to bond and really connect.

           One thing’s for sure, as Blocker states, “State definitely won’t be the same this year.”