By Grace Borchert
The Batavia girls’ cross country team is ranked third in the state and heading towards IHSA Regionals on Sat., Oct. 24 with high goals. The varsity team already won its second consecutive Upstate 8 Conference meet, averaging 18:09 as a team in the three-mile run.
Emma Stephens, a sophomore and top runner, is very proud of the team and how far it has come.
“I think our team has been very strong this year,” Stephens said. “Every meet we have done a good job at closing the gap between our first and fifth runner.”
Not only have the girls been doing well in the state of Illinois, they are also ranked 19th in the nation. Girls’ cross country has been in Batavia for 32 years and the girls on the team this year are some of the fastest the program has seen. Stephens has the fastest girls’ three-mile time in school history at 16.59.9. Dakota Roman, Marygrace Golden, and Daphne Kolody are second, third, and fourth respectively in the program’s history, as well.
This year they took second overall at the prestigious First to the Finish Invitational on Sept. 12 against more than 50 teams. They placed first in Illinois Class 3A, a group for large Illinois schools at the First to the Finish Invitational. After this exciting race they went on to win the Northstar Invite in St. Charles on Oct. 3. They also placed second at the West Aurora Stampede in Montgomery on Oct. 10. They won conference for the second year in a row and this time it was on a course not known for speed.
“I do think this season is going well, but I also believe we have bigger and better things we can still accomplish this season,” said Golden, a sophomore and third runner on the team.
They are now headed to IHSA Regionals at Leroy Oaks, St. Charles on Oct. 24, IHSA Sectionals at the Stuart Sports Complex in Montgomery on Oct. 31, and IHSA State meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Nov. 7. The girls set high goals and Kolody wants to win.
“I really hope that our team can accomplish winning state because I know that we are good enough to,” said Kolody.
The season has gone very well so far with lots of victories, but the girls don’t want to stop there. They continue to practice hard in hopes of qualifying for state and winning the state title.