Girls Cross Country Braves States


Donald Lamb/

Girls cross country top-seven huddles prior to the state final race in Tallahassee on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Annie Farrell, Editor

Traveling from separate points in Miami and North Carolina, the top seven girls on the Gables varsity cross country team reunited in Tallahassee on Saturday, Nov. 15, to compete in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Cross Country State Finals.

Four of the girls traveled approximately nine hours from school on Thursday with their coach, psychology teacher Mr. Nelson. The other three girls, who were attending college tour, were generously driven down from North Carolina on Friday by AP European History teacher Ms. Landsea.

“I am very proud of the girls varsity cross country team. They worked hard all year and beat Sunset by one point to advance to the state finals,” Nelson said.

After arriving in Tallahassee, the girls made their way Friday morning to Apalachee Regional Park, where Nelson attended a coaches’ meeting and the Gables girls got the chance to run part of the course and buy state race souvenirs. Nerves were at an all-time high that night; all of the girls went to bed by 9 p.m. in order to be rested for the 7:30 a.m. 5-kilometer race the following day.

On Saturday morning, the team woke up at 4:30 a.m. to make it to the course in time for a long warm-up in the 30-degree weather Tallahassee was experiencing that weekend. Two minutes before the start of the race, they promptly stripped down to their thin uniform shorts and tank tops to prepare for the run.

“The 30-degree weather kind of shook up our nerves, and when we saw the ice on the ground at the starting line, it made us all even more apprehensive about the race. I have never experienced an adrenaline rush like that. It was quite an experience,” senior Caroline Bauwens said.

The ear-piercing shot of the starting gun commenced the race, and most runners sprinted out to secure a spot among the front pack of girls. However, Gables managed to not let this speed intimidate them and kept a steady pace throughout the entire race. Sophomore Alexis Clay arrived at the finish line as the first Gables runner, followed by juniors Kathryn Boylan and Eleonor Bauwens, sophomore Annie Farrell, junior Gabrielle Saliamonas, freshman Abigail Flores and senior Caroline Bauwens, respectively. In the end, the team received 24th place.

“I am so happy with how our team did. We had so many factors against us and we managed to persevere through it all. I am excited for next year and to hopefully make it to states again,” junior Kathryn Boylan said.

Now having such a competitive state level race under their belt, this young team is ready to take on next year’s season with full force. They plan on training harder for next year and putting in even more mileage during the summer. To view the full results from this race, click here.