The DGS girls cross country team kicked off the 2020 season with an intra-squad under the lights meet in the stadium. While the competition was only among ourselves, the music and under the lights environment made it a special evening. Due to the COVID19 situation, our team is divided into 6 separate training groups. Each group took to the track, one at a time, to race various distances.
In the first race of the night, group 6 took to the track to race 1600m. Freshmen, Aniya Newman led most of the race to win in 7:24.1. Isabella Gutierrez (So) and Zaina Dakak (Fr) rounded out the top 3 with 7:33.3 and 7:35.3 times respectively. The next group on the track was group 5 racing 3200m. Elise D’Aquila (Jr) led early on with Angie Hernadez (Jr) close behind. At the halfway point, Angie took the lead and pulled away for the win in 14:36.0. Elise held on for 2nd place in 15:09.2 and Chloe Dawson (Sr) used a huge kick to finish 3rd in 15:41.5.
Group 4 was next up on the track, racing the same 3200m distance. Madolyn Werner (Jr) took the lead early and gradually pulled away from the rest of the pack, eventually taking the win in 13:43.2. Meghan Stapleton (Sr) and Cate Willard (Fr) were the next two finishers, running 14:21.5 and 14:30.6 respectively.
The group 3 race was made smaller due to a couple of injuries, but they still competed hard over the 3200m race distance. Lindsay Spear (So) went to the front early on and kept her foot on the gas all the way to a first place finish in 13:26.7. Serilda McNerney (Jr) and Emma Lopez (Jr) rounded out the top 3 places with huge PR’s, running 13:37.6 and 13:57.3.
In the penultimate race of the evening, group 2 featured an extremely competitive and evenly matched group of athletes. The lead changed multiple times as seniors, Madison Wies and Saskia Krebbers set the early pace. The entire field stayed close and the lead changed hands several times with Sophia Nelson (Fr) eventually moving to the front. Sophia put in several surges in attempt to break away, but the pack behind her kept responding. On the final lap Rachel Rodi (Fr) moved into the lead with 200m to go, but in the final straight away, Sophie Ring (Fr) finished with a furious kick to take the win in 12:54.6. Sophia finished right behind her 2nd in 12:58.3, followed by Rachel in 12:59.1. All three of these young athletes showed tremendous grit throughout the race that you don’t normally see out of freshmen. The entire field ran great races as only 10 seconds separated first from last over the 3200m distance.
In the evening’s final race, the girls in group 1 raced 5000m. The conditions were excellent as this distance was competed for the first time ever on the DGS track. Much of the group was adorned in glitter, excited as they took to the starting line for the first time since the middle of March, but Sophia McNerney (Jr) was all business. Sophia spoiled any suspense by bolting straight to the lead and never looking back. She was a woman on a mission as she rolled through 12.5 laps to win the race. Sophia’s time of 18:01.3 is a stadium record and sets her up well to be extremely competitive this season. Kelsey Casella (Jr) also ran a strong race. Kelsey took hold of 2nd place early on and was never really challenged, finishing 2nd with a time of 19:11.0. Running in 3rd place for most of the race, Rebecca Diddia (Sr) looked strong early on. Rebecca struggled towards the middle, but stayed tough, marched on, and finished strong in 20:15.0.