Women’s cross country claims Great Lakes Invite title

XC_White

Lauren Taylor | Echo

One victory after another, the Taylor cross country teams make their way through the season with success.

“I feel like every meet is a learning opportunity,” women’s head coach Quinn White said. “It is all part of the process to help us end with excellence.”

The women’s team is in a sweet spot right now, raising their ranking to No. 3, the highest ranking in school history with a record of 67–2. The men’s team (61–10) is currently No. 24.

The Trojans recently competed in the Bethel Invite, in which both teams finished in second place. At this meet, four runners from the women’s team and two from the men’s team achieved personal records.

Freshman Livy Schroder finished the 5K with an incredible time of 18:18, the fastest time of the women’s runners this season. She finished in third place out of 203 runners.

Following this meet, White had officially become the second coach in Taylor women’s cross country history to obtain 600 career wins.

“It’s an honor to coach such dedicated young ladies,” White said. He stated that he has high expectations for the women and they train hard to meet them. In his words, his job is simply to set the women up for success.

They later competed at the Great Lakes Invite, where the men took sixth place, and the women brought home yet another victory.

Freshman Sarah Harden had a spectacular performance at this meet, finishing at 18:25.9, just a fraction of a second off her personal record. She finished fourth overall and was 14 seconds behind the winning pace.

After combatting injuries for over a year, All-American junior Alex Berends finally returned to the lineup for this meet.

“After such a long break, I’m just thrilled to be back out on the course,” Berends said. “The whole experience has made me appreciate the simple gift of being physically able to run at all this year.”

With the strong performances of their lead pack, the Trojans were able to defeat No. 1 Aquinas by 16 points and take home the winning title.

On the men’s side, senior Stephen Cho performed very well with a season best of 26:03 in the 8K race.

“This season, I’ve really tried to find the beauty in the struggle of doing the small things like stretching, eating right, getting enough sleep, etc.,” Cho said.

Cho has been consistently dropping time in the past few races and believes this is the source of his success.

As they approach the end of the season, the teams have high hopes.

“We have the potential and the talent to do some really big things on the national scene,” Cho said. “I believe that we’re going to take some major steps forward in the next few weeks.”

Both teams are competing for the league title and plan to make their way to Nationals. They will compete at the Crossroads League Championships on Nov. 4, with the men running at 10:30 a.m. and the women at 11:45 a.m.

“Photograph provided by Quinn White”