The Spring Lake girls cross country team hasn’t finished lower than third in a meet the past two years — and they’re hoping that doesn’t change at the state championship on Saturday.
“I think we can get there,” coach Aaron Andres said. “If we run the race that I know these girls can do, you never know. It really is going to be a fun race. They literally have been getting stronger each week that we have been running. If they show up, — and we do our best — we’d love to have a top three finish. And they can get there.”
Leading the charge for the Lakers will be junior Carlyn Arteaga, who finished 15th at last year’s state meet, breaking the school record with a time of 18 minutes, 27 seconds.
“Going into last year, I didn’t really know that there was a school record. Or that there was all-state and all that,” said Arteaga a junior. “So going into it this year — now that I’m aware of those things — I would like to do them again.
“I have individual goals obviously, but I’m more focused on the team doing well. That’s kind of why I do cross country — it’s for the team. I have personal goals of beating my time from last year, beating my place from last year and beating certain people. He (Andres) assigns us certain people (to try to) beat.”
Look for Arteaga to beat quite a few runners on Saturday.
“I really don’t think she’s had her race yet,” Andres said. “Her race is Saturday. It was last year. Last year she had a new PR (personal record) — she broke the school record. I could see that happening again on Saturday.”
And with five returners from last year’s state runner-up, Arteaga has plenty of company near the top on this year’s squad.
Arteaga was the first runner to cross the finish line in the Lakers’ second-place finish at the regional qualifier last Saturday. Her time of 19:19 was good for seventh.
Not far behind were sophomore Erin O'Keefe (eighth, 19:23) and senior Ashley Warner (11th, 19:34).
“What’s great about this year, (is) I think there’s a group with those three — (Carlyn), Erin and Ashley — that we can look at and say we can be strong together, and push ourselves,” Andres said.
Junior Lacie Piekarski (16th, 19:49) and freshman Skyler Gilchrist (19th, 20:00) also finished in the top 20 in regional action.
Warmoth pleasantly surprised to be headed to state meet
Spring Lake sophomore Will Warmoth’s goal this season was to lower his time down to 17 minutes and 30 seconds.
He cut it to 16:50.9 at last weekend’s regional — good for 11th place and a spot at as an individual at Saturday’s state meet.
“I never really thought that I would go to states,” Warmoth said. “At the beginning of the year I was joking around about it.
“I guess coming up to the last few conference meets I realized that there was a chance I could get it. I just pushed hard at the regional meet and was able to do it, surprisingly.”
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