Dominican’s Cross Country Team blasted past the competition and placed third in the LHSAA State Championship on Nov. 14 in Natchitoches. DHS Cross Country runners secured third place by leading the fourth-place team by 46 points.
“They ran really well. I’m very proud of the way that our team ran. We have a great core group going forward, and we’re excited to compete for a top spot next season,” said coach Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07).
As champions of the Regional Meet, Dominican sent seven runners to compete in the State Meet: eighth graders Kelsey Major, Madison Trauth and Catherine Kernion; sophomores Erin Sequeira and Lizzy Bourg; and seniors Ady Becker and Caroline Hensley.
Major maintained this season’s winning pace by placing fourth overall in State with a time of 19:04. Major approached the state competition with confidence having placed first in both District and Regional Meets as well as clocking a person record of 18:54 for the three-mile run.
Major has set goals that will push her to train even harder. “I want to be the fastest runner Dominican has ever seen,” she said.
The ambition and competitive nature of the team is what led to their success for the season, according to Ms. Ciolino. “Cross country is much more than just running. You have to run at the fastest pace you can and maintain that speed for 3 straight miles,” said Ms. Ciolino.
With three eighth graders on the state roster, Dominican’s Cross Country Team is young. Because of this young team, “it was a learning experience for everyone,” said Ms. Ciolino. “State for the first time is scary, so sending three eighth graders was a bold move.
“They earned this outcome,” Ms. Ciolino said.
Hensley, team captain, believes that despite being a young team, “when we [the seniors] leave, I think the underclassmen will do an amazing job at continuing the successful legacy we have created.” With eighth graders contributing to the team’s third place state finish, many agree with Hensley.
“I’m really proud of how we ran in state,” said Major. “It has inspired me to push myself even harder in the next few years ahead of me and to continue to win.”