Sweet cross country season comes to a close in Hershey

Running+Away+with+It

Knight Crier

Running Away with It

For junior Colin Fisher and sophomore Ava Warner, their cross country ended sweetly while they attended states in Hershey.

Warner’s running at states concluded her first season as a cross country athlete, and for Fisher, his junior year ended with his first trip to states as well.

Warner, Fisher, and freshman Achilles Schui were the three North Penn Cross Country runners to qualify for states this fall. For Warner and Fisher, to be just two of 3,000 students at NPHS to earn this distinction is not only a prestigious honor but also a difficult one. Qualifying for states takes a lot of work and focus. Warner and Fisher both prepared for this moment all season

“The whole goal was to make it as a team. Obviously that didn’t go exactly how we wanted it, but definitely a success compared to season prior because this is the first time we have had people go in 3 years. So definitely a success, and we are hoping to get the whole team there next year,” Fisher claimed.

“Since this is my first year doing cross country, I didn’t even expect to make states or expect it to go how it did. I just tried my best and tried to work hard,” Warner stated.

Although both put in tremendous amounts of work this season, making it to states wasn’t a guarantee.

“I kinda had it in the back of my mind, but it was never really a given. So it was definitely something I had to work for, but it was always something I was thinking about,” Fisher stated

“I did not expect it. I thought at districts I would have to run a time much faster than my usual time, but I was lucky because they let a lot more people go to states,” Warner explained.

Qualifying for states in cross country is a lot different from other sports.

“It’s all about what you run in districts, and you need a solid five people. And that basically means having that within a certain time range. If you have all your five in the top 50 at districts you have a very good shot at going to states,” Fisher explained.

Both Fisher and Warner remember when they found out they had made it to states.

Well for me I just finished, and Jaime Diedel, she ran cross country, and she was at districts, was looking at the results because they are live. She was saying how there’s a chance I could have made it to states. She was the one who told me, ‘Ava you made it,’ when it came out… I was the last individual to qualify, which was pretty amazing, but it just happened that way.”

— Sophomore Ava Warner

“Well for me I just finished, and Jaime Diedel, she ran cross country, and she was at districts, was looking at the results because they are live. She was saying how there’s a chance I could have made it to states. She was the one who told me, ‘Ava you made it,’ when it came out… I was the last individual to qualify, which was pretty amazing, but it just happened that way,” Warner shared.

“Pretty similar to what Ava said, one of the alumni who used to run, Jaime, we were walking back, and obviously we didn’t know right after we crossed. They have to finalize the results and everything like that… I remember Jaime telling us, myself and my teammate Achilles, that we were in. That was a great moment,” Fisher said.

The state meet was on November 6th in Hershey PA at the Park view course.

“We left Friday morning from school at 8:00 AM, and then we stayed overnight at a hotel in Hershey,” Fisher explained.

Both runners competed in a 5k for the meet.

“The race was a 5k in total and I remember my place being 144th out of 239. The time was 17:55,” Fisher stated.

“I was 106th out of 240, and my time was 20:54,” Warner said.

A race like this can be very nerve-racking for young athletes.

“I was just so nervous. At the starting line there’s different blocks of people. In my block was the girl that finished first and she was expected to be first out of the whole state. That was kinda cool actually but I was just really nervous before the whole race,” Warner explained.

However, this can change just by your perspective of the race itself.

There wasn’t really too much going on because this was the first race that nothing was really riding on it. There was no consequence to running terrible, obviously, that wasn’t the goal, but there wasn’t a lot of pressure to do great. Our coach just told us to compete and have fun.”

— Junior Colin Fisher

“There wasn’t really too much going on because this was the first race that nothing was really riding on it. There was no consequence to running terrible, obviously that wasn’t the goal, but there wasn’t a lot of pressure to do great. Our coach just told us to compete and have fun,” Fisher stated.

This experience is one that won’t be taken for granted for these athletes.

“The take-away was just that hard work pays off and just trying your best,” Warner said.

“Similar to what Ava said, hard work does pay off, and that this experience will help us and the rest of the team next year now knowing we have this experience, ” Fisher explained.

Fortunately for these runners, this opportunity will help them in bettering themselves for the next season.

“I am planning on doing cross country next year. My goal is to just not be as nervous and not be as hard on myself. So I don’t have to put pressure on myself as much as I did this year,” Warner said.

“I do plan on running cross country next year and honestly similar to what we did this year but hopefully to get everyone to states,” Fisher concluded.