Women’s cross country takes 1st in 2 meets


Brianna Hickey
Brianna Hickey takes first place over Cor Jesu runner Sabrina Hostler at Fox Invitational at Arnold Park. (Courtesy of Mary Hickey)

Jimmy Rizzo
Staff writer

 Women’s cross country Varsity won The Fox Invitational meet at Arnold Park Sept. 21, and the Hazelwood East Invitational meet at Hazelwood East high Oct. 1, and in both of these races junior Brianna Hickey has placed first.

Varsity cross country team consists of seven runners: Hickey, junior Jaycee Jones, freshman Sierra Bennett, junior Suzie Bennett, senior Mindy Borth, junior Jamie Garland and Italian foreign exchange student Maria Bazzini, but Varsity runners are always changing due to injuries and people getting faster than others.

Hickey said, “I trained over the winter and summer which helped me be fast now.” Hickey added, “Having a close spread of 2.5 minutes on Varsity really helps us win.”

A spread is the time that passes from the fastest runner on a Varsity cross country team to the slowest runner on Varsity.

Women’s cross country coach Ken Manwarring said, “We have an excellent chance of getting to sectionals and reasonably good chances of going to State depending on how districts meets turn out. Brianna will definitely qualify as an individual for State, and beyond her Jones, Garland and Bazzini have good chances of qualifying as individuals for state.” Manwarring added, “If our tops girls do good summer work outs, we will be very good next year, like men’s cross country coach (Dan Seben) always says to the boys, ‘You get good by training hard over the summer.’ Also our top eight runners will be returning to the team so that is great.”

Jones said, “Cross country is different from other sports mostly because it is something you have to work for. It’s not just a natural talent you can get. You also have to be able to push yourself further than you’d ever think you can.”

Jones added, “In cross country you know when you are better than other people because of your times, but in sports like soccer you could be the number one goal scorer but have really bad ball handling skills. Also people always say your sport is my sports punishment, but that isn’t true because when they, run it’s not even a mile, but when we run, it’s almost 6.2, miles and we’re going as hard as we can go so I think that makes cross country one of the hardest sport’s to do.”

Bennett said, “Cross country isn’t too much pressure, but maintaining a spot on varsity is.” Bennett added, “Having runners like Brianna and Jaycee gives me something to work for. Their hard work in practice and meets is an inspiration.

Hickey said, “As the front runner for the team, I have to set a good example while running and while not running, work hard in practice, be friends with the team and encourage people to run faster than they think they can.”     

Hickey added, “If we continue to run they way we do, we will qualify as a team for State, which is a really big deal considering only 16 teams make it from each division every season.”

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