Girls’ XC works their way to the top

The NPHS girls’ cross country team has pushed themselves harder than they ever have this season, and their hard work is starting to pay off. The team is now ranked as fourth overall in the nation, which is a drastic change from last season, when they were ranked 17.

Coach Sean Brosnan, head coach of the boys’ and girls’ cross country and track team at NPHS continues to encourage his runners. “I’m really proud of the girls, Brosnan said. “And now they have a chance to win a national title.”

So far this season the team has competed at many different meets, such as the Woodbridge Invitational, Clovis Invitational and League Championships. At Woodbridge, the girls missed first by a couple seconds as they came in second to a Texas team. They also placed second at Clovis.

Ailish Hawkins, a junior and runner on the team continues to work pushing herself and her fellow teammates, “We have a lot of workouts and, every day we practice and then we have to prepare for League prelims, and finals and CIF,” Hawkins said. “We’re trying to put in the work now. So that way we can rest for the next couple weeks.”

The team ethic has greatly changed and is full of hard-working girls who want to accomplish more this year. Samantha McDonnell, senior and Alabama University commit believes this season is different than any season yet. “The team has grown a lot over the past couple of years. And this year has just kind of been our best year so far,” McDonnell said. “We’re all really focused and everything. And as far as individually goes, I’ve been having one of the best seasons ever.”

They continue to be motivated by their successes two years ago and it encourages them to work even harder this season. “All of our work has been paying off. I think we’ve all just grown as individuals and just learned from two years ago when we won state for the first time,” McDonnell said. “[We] kind of wanted to keep going with that and keep putting in the hard work.” From their own individual runs before school to their long practices after school, these girls are willing to put in everything to make their name clear.

These improvements from last year have shown the team that new achievements are possible. With Nationals around the corner in December, a new goal is in mind for both teams. “No one’s ever won them at the same time, guys and girls. So hopefully, we have a shot to win both,” Brosnan said.

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