History made by women’s’ cross country

The Women's Varsity Cross Country Team poses for a photo after a hard run at this year’s regional meet. The girls ran strong, earning a second place finish overall. (used with permission of Karen Hawkins)

The Women’s Cross Country Team continues to make history in the 2014 season. For the first time since 2006, the girls claimed total victory at the Cap-8 Championships.

“I’m so happy and proud that the girls brought the championship back to Leesville,” said Karen Hawkins, Women’s Cross Country coach. “We knew back in August that trying to beat the defending champion, Broughton, would not be easy…but the girls were determined to go for it and it certainly paid off.”

The girls again proved themselves during this year’s regional meet, taking home a second place trophy.

With an outstanding performance, Nevada Mareno not only beat her own school record, but her time of 18:07.2 is the tenth fastest in the state this year.

“I’ve never been so proud of her and how she raced. She ran fearless and with a sense of determination and confidence that was truly inspiring to watch,” said Hawkins.

“We knew going in second place was ours to lose. I hadn’t yet broken 19 minutes this season and was determined to…I figured I had nothing to lose, so I went out with the lead pack,” said Mareno. “The race was so relieving showing that all of my training had finally paid off.”

The girls were met with treacherous weather conditions at States, but pushed through. Going in ranked as fifth, the team placed fourth due to the strong performances all around.

Again, Mareno made a mark. With a final push at the end, Mareno moved to fourth place, beating her opponent by two tenths of a second.

“Overall, I’m really proud of the team and what we accomplished,” said Mareno. “I would keep a look out if I were Green Hope because they won’t really see what we got until next year.”

“Because of our girls and what they have done to make this team what it is, when I tell people I coach, I don’t just say ‘I coach cross country,’ I proudly say, ‘I coach cross country at Leesville,’” said Hawkins.


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