Girls cross country getting ready for the postseason

Freshman Julia Ghiselli runs at the Great Meadow Invitatational at Colgan High School in The Plains, VA on Sat. Aug. 26, where she finished in 2nd place.

Freshman Julia Ghiselli runs at the Great Meadow Invitatational at Colgan High School in The Plains, VA on Sat. Aug. 26, where she finished in 2nd place.

Elias Moura, Staff Writer

The regular season is over and the successful girls Cross Country team prepares for districts.
Districts is a competition where seven of the best runners in the school get chosen to represent AHS in a battle to win the district.
The team found success with new runners. such as freshman star runner Julia Ghiselli, as well as returning leaders, such as Vitalina Fuentes, Nadezhda Droujinsky and Janice Milian.
Head Coach Phil Harris and runner Droujinsky are optimistic for positive results in districts.
The team thinks that each will perform well individually, as well as a team as a whole.
For Coach Harris, the team has significantly improved in areas where they were already good and where they needed improvement.
“The regular season was a lot of improvement. We have the number one or number two runner in the state in Julia, so I think just having her on the team, the other girls improve so much,” Harris said.
“The other girls got a lot better, they ran for some of the fastest Top 10 times that teams have ran here at Annandale.”
Harris believes most of their success comes from Ghiselli’s influential persona on her teammates that inspires the girls to run harder and better.
“The girls have done so much harder work this year than they’ve ever done, especially with Julia. The saturday practices have just been brutal, the uphill running that we have been doing, the repeats, and now we’re requiring them to do it all faster,” Harris said. “So I think as a whole, the girls have improved beyond my expectations.”
Despite this, Harris continues to see room for improvement before districts begin.
He wishes to push the girls harder in order to reach their full potential.
“Speed. They can do the endurance, the endurance is all there. So we’ve had girls that have been doing 4-6 miles over the summer but then we had to go back and incorporate more speed workouts,” Harris said. “The mileage was there and now it’s running repeats that will benefit the girls.”
With these improvements made, Harris believes that the girls will come out of districts and qualify for regionals.
“We’re looking to come out of the conference this year and go to regionals this year. We have the number one runner in the district so we have to be in the top four, and we are on paper,” Harris said.
Droujinsky has the same mindset as her coach of three years.
“I’d like to think I’ve improved in getting out fast, since I’ve learned how to hold a fast one in the beginning,” Droujinsky said.
She also stated that the constant support from her teammates has made a significant difference to her teammates and coaches. Droujinsky believes that her role as a top seven runner is not as important as some people make it out to be.
“Being a top seven runner is not very different from anyone else because all of the girls have put in incredible effort and dedication this season to reach their goals,” said Droujinsky.
The girls team will be looking to finish strong in districts and move on to regionals, or further.