Girls’ Cross Country Team Ends Season with Two First Team All-Stars

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December 31, 2022
Photo+courtesy+of+Madison+Willers.

Photo courtesy of Madison Willers.

The girls’ cross country team recently ended their season with the Group II South sectional meet at DREAM Park in Logan Township. The team placed 7th with almost every member of the team that competed bettering their time on the course since their last race at DREAM Park Oct. 8.

The girls entered their season with big goals requiring hard work, dedication and teamwork. 

According to head coach Timothy Callinan, in order to achieve these goals, the team was working to close the gap between the times of his first and fifth runners by making their overall times closer together. By doing this the times of their third, fourth and fifth runners would decrease, allowing them to be in the top five runner scores. 

“In cross country you have to worry about the gap between your first runner and your fifth runner,” Callinan said. “It’s the top five runner’s score, so we’re trying to basically get our fifth runner closer and closer, partially our third, fourth and fifth runners, trying to get them a little closer to our first and second runners.” 

During the season, the girls worked hard and maintained their nearly undefeated season (7-2). Callinan said his biggest accomplishment as a coach isn’t necessarily winning. 

“… just getting to see kids improve, as people more so than runners,” Callinan said. 

As the season came to a close, the girls competed in the Burlington County Scholastic League Cross Country Championships at New Egypt High School. Going into the meet, Callinan had high hopes for the team.

“Our top two are gonna be Steph Renouf, her being in her senior year, she’s got a shot of doing some really special things, even in school history…” Callinan said. “Then Anna Marino had a really good summer of training for herself…I think it’s gonna surprise a lot of people in south Jersey with how well she’s gonna run.”

Although the team suffered a few injuries throughout the season, the Lady Pirates earned two big spots on the leaderboard. 

Senior Stephanie Renouf finished in second place with a time of 18:57:3 and junior Anna Marino came in third place (19:34:0). With these times, both earned spots on the First Team All-Star Team. Sophomore Abby Flannery finished in 22:39:00 and secured 12th place, earning her spot on the Second Team All-Star Team. 

While the overall goal is to improve times among team members, junior Madison Willers described how their personal goals can be more mental than physical. 

“I’m always looking to improve my mindset because sometimes it’s hard when you’re in the middle of the season and it’s getting difficult,” Willers said. 

Along with strengthening mindsets, Willers emphasized how it’s important to recognize personal achievements and improvement. 

For Willers, her focus for the season was to put forth her best effort. 

“Just getting as far as I do in my sport and just getting to states, getting to sectionals. Really just achieving the best of my ability,” Willers said. 

As a tight-knit group, the girls support each other – through wins and losses.  They recognize everyone’s proudest moments and they push each other to do the best they possibly can. 

“What’s really nice about the sport is that we’re just so close and we just all push each other to do better and I think that’s really important,” Willers said. “I really like how tight-knit it is because it really helps, it makes it more fun. I love my team.”