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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Girls’ Cross Country holds first invitational for season

Miley Naugle
Run, run, run! The high school team races a 5k which is 3.1 miles. This was taken at the start of the race, less than half a mile in.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the girls’ Cross Country team held their invitational meet at Logan Elementary. This was the first home meet of the year. 

“I thought the girls were a lot more motivated this time because some of them were looking at bettering their time from the week before. It doesn’t matter if it is a home course or an away course, it is still a 5k. Sometimes it is a mental aspect more than anything else, but having that first meet here, having the spectators, having family here, having friends here, definitely helps them want to be motivated to race a little stronger and have a premier performance,” Head coach Tabitha Quinn said.

The girls’ varsity race started at 10:00 a.m. While the girls’ junior varsity race started later at 11:45 a.m.

“The starting times have a lot to do with it because if it’s a really hot day, it’s cooler at 10 a.m. as opposed to 11 a.m. Sometimes it’s a 10 degree difference, but it’s been really cool. Leading up to the afternoon Invitational. So, for this meet, it didn’t really matter if they ran at 10 or 11. So there was only about a three degree difference, but typically, there is a difference,” Quinn said

Freshman Ashlyn Noce placed 4th overall with a time of 20 minutes and 14 seconds. 

“I felt pretty good and it was a good opportunity to be able to run varsity as a freshman. During my race, I ran a 20: 14.48 setting the freshmen record, which was set at a 20:52 by Reese Wilbur and I also broke the Altoona all-time record that was 2015 set by Reese Wilbur in 2020,” Noce said 

Freshman Brianna Adams placed 24th overall with a time of 22 minutes and 15 seconds. 

“It was definitely a challenge, but I’m very proud of myself,” Adams said

Freshman Lana Luke placed 15th overall with a time of 21 minutes and 50 seconds. 

“I felt strong, but it was a hard race. I was just happy to be a part of varsity, but meddling was a big achievement. I did not expect it at all,” Luke said. 

Senior Josie Ciccarella placed 28th overall with a time of 22 minutes and 35 seconds. 

“The race was very difficult, but I had friends and bystanders calling out my place along the way and it really helped me to stay where I needed to be. Towards the end of the race, I took a spill the last 200 meters but I got up and I persevered and I made it to the finish and when I found out that I got my medal, I was over the moon,” Ciccarella said

Sophomore Emerson Snare placed 30th with a time of 22 minutes and 40 seconds. 

“I felt really accomplished actually, I was really proud of myself. The first mile was hard, I kind of died a little bit in the second mile, but like, I knew as soon as I would get out of the woods, like, it’s a switch in my head, and I was good then,” Snare said. 

This was the first time racing on the High School course for many of the girls. 

“I was really nervous about some of the bigger hills like bus garage, but I actually really liked running on hills. So it was good,” Luke said. 

The team placed 2nd overall only losing to Hollidaysburg. The girls finished with a score of 84 points. 

“Well, looking at today’s practice, it was more about getting that turnover working on sprint speed, enabling them to work together as a team trying to get that one through seven spread down so that they are closer a distance of 10 meters could actually be about 20 people in a larger Invitational. Sometimes they run 15 wide. It’s some of the larger races. So it could even be like 30 people in between our number one or number two person. It could even be 60 people in the larger field, for example, ran at Central Cambria, there was a huge gap between one and two. So essentially there could have been 60 to 75 people between one and two, when there’s a field of over 350 runners,” Quinn said.

Junior Eva Drumm placed 1st overall with a time of 23 minutes and 42 seconds.

“I felt good because everybody was cheering me on because that was the first place girl most of the time. I felt good about meddling because I didn’t know that I was going into it in the first place. I thought it’d be like their place because I got fifth place last year,” 

Freshman Abby Harkins placed 2nd overall with a time of 24 minutes and 20 seconds.

“I felt really happy because the only time I’ve ever meddled before was in eighth grade when I got 13th place. I was really happy with my placement on the team because I thought I was gonna do worse,” Harkins said 

Sophomore Grace Long placed 3rd overall with a time of 24 minutes and 26 seconds. 

“I felt really proud of myself. It was my first Altoona Invitational. I was really happy and surprised. I didn’t expect to do that.”

Junior Gracie Gioiosa placed 4th overall with a time of 24 minutes and 40 seconds. 

“I really just wanted to finish the race. So meddling was kind of an added bonus to that. I’m really happy that I did. Our course was so difficult, especially going up bus garage, so I was very tired and in a good amount of pain, but it was a really fun time so I just had to remember that,” Gioiosa said. 

Junior Alana Rinehart placed 6th overall with a time of 24 minutes and 53 seconds.

“I felt good about meddling, but I didn’t get where I wanted to, which I was kind of disappointed because I had higher expectations for what I wanted to do and do not, but I was still happy that I meddled. I felt good at the start. And then as I progressed into the race, I kind of hit a brick wall. But that happens sometimes every race is not your career, race, you know, like, it’s not a career ending and it’s my career starting race,” Rinehart said

Freshman Ryanne Resig placed 11th overall with a time of 25 minutes and 16 seconds. 

“I felt really good. I’m very proud of myself and accomplished. I felt a little tired, kind of like I wanted to stop running in the beginning, but other than that I felt pretty good and even better when I finished,” Resig said. 

Sophomore Natalie Etters placed 16th with a time of 26 minutes and 16 seconds. 

“I felt very happy and proud of myself because this was a personal record for this season,” Etters said. 

All of the girls on the junior varsity team who counted towards scoring placed within the top 30 and medaled. Their overall score and place

“They have to set goals and set a goal for the next race, the next practice to enable them to enhance as a team to get their spread down a little bit better. They have to be aware of their surroundings and know the different terrain because we have a combination of open fields, hills, down hills, rolling hills, and we have a lot of sharp turns. So that helps you prepare mentally and physically for different types of courses,” Quinn said.

The team’s next race is at Kiski on Tuesday Sept. 26. The races start at 4:00 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Miley Naugle, Reporter
My name is Miley Naugle, I am a 10th grade reporter on the AAHS Mountain Echo. This is my second year on the staff and my third year as a reporter. My favorite thing to do as a part of the staff, was take photos. I started writing on the Livewire staff in 8th grade. I love to take photos and write sports stories. I also like to run, I have been running since 7th grade. I run Cross Country and long distance for Track. I am part of the Student Council and I am also in chorus. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends and spending time with my little sister.

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