Zionsville Community High School’s senior girls cross country runners have had a memorable run.
For the second consecutive year, the Eagles finished second to Fort Wayne Carroll in the IHSAA state meet Nov. 2 at Terre Haute. Zionsville won the program’s first state championship in 2017 and was fourth in 2016.
“I’ve seen a program go from a place where we hadn’t even been on the podium before my freshman year to now by my senior year just trying to figure out how high we could go,” senior Katelyn Wasson said. “That was an exciting journey, building the program alongside building all these athletes that kind of coincided. I think it’s really cool to be part of the legacy. Every year we just do our best and leave it all out there at the state meet.”
Eagles coach Suzanne Rigg said the seniors have been keys to success all four years.
“From the very first day of practice, they wanted to be their best,” she said “They tried to run with the upperclassmen. They just improved and improved over the four years, which is what you want.”
Wasson led the way at the state meet, finishing a career-best seventh. She was 15th in 2016, 10th in 2017 and 15th in 2018.
“Katelyn has been an amazing athlete all four years,” Rigg said. “I’m so excited for her, for college and maybe even beyond that professionally.”
Wasson, who will compete for Purdue next year, was second in the 3,200 run at the state track and field meet earlier this year.
“The track season gave me a lot of confidence in my speed,” Wasson said. “I’ve always seen myself as an endurance athlete and I had that strength from running a lot of mileage. This track season showed me that I also have speed.”
Senior Anna Settle placed 11th, her best finish at state.
“Every year Anna has gotten stronger and stronger,” Rigg said. “This year, her confidence has just been through the roof. Anna has really taken off. At the start of the season, she had some good races and that gave her confidence. It kind of snowballed.”
Senior Margaret Allen finsished 38th for the Eagles, followed by sophomore Lydia Moore, 62nd; sophomore Grace Gongwer, 95th; senior Lauren Rinehart, 105th; and senior Sarah Petersen, 117th.
Rigg said the seniors have been role models.
“I think these seniors have shown the way for the underclassmen,” Rigg said. “The underclassmen have seen what these girls have done and I’m excited for the future to see what they can do when they put in another year of good training.”