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Injured O’Brian perseveres to help team finish strong

%28From+left+to+right%29+Varsity+runners+Sarah+Jones%2C+Hallie+Mills%2C+Triniti+Spurgeon%2C+Selah+Campbell+and+Emma+Hendrix+place+3rd+of+20+schools+at+the+Highland+Invitational+%28Photo+provided+by+Mike+Armstrong%29.
(From left to right) Varsity runners Sarah Jones, Hallie Mills, Triniti Spurgeon, Selah Campbell and Emma Hendrix place 3rd of 20 schools at the Highland Invitational (Photo provided by Mike Armstrong).

(From left to right) Varsity runners Sarah Jones, Hallie Mills, Triniti Spurgeon, Selah Campbell and Emma Hendrix place 3rd of 20 schools at the Highland Invitational (Photo provided by Mike Armstrong).

(From left to right) Varsity runners Sarah Jones, Hallie Mills, Triniti Spurgeon, Selah Campbell and Emma Hendrix place 3rd of 20 schools at the Highland Invitational (Photo provided by Mike Armstrong).

Sydney Mathis, Copy Editor

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One of the top varsity runners, senior Kayla O’Brian, is currently out with a knee injury and has been since Moratorium Week.

“I’ve been told to just end my season because of the way it is going, but just because I’m not where I want to be, doesn’t mean I am going to quit,” O’Brian says. “I am good enough still to get some points for my team, and I plan on finishing this season to help my team be where they want.”

The top girls in the last handful of meets for the varsity team are juniors Hallie Mills,Triniti Spurgeon, senior Sarah Jones, and freshman Emma Hendrix.

Almost all of the meets that the girls participate in are 3.1 miles. The girls have run about nine races this season.

Mills has been placing first for Perry Meridian in nearly every race thus far in the season, except for a couple in the beginning. With a personal record of running the course in 20:26, Mills came close with a time of 20:47 at the Brown County Eagle Invitational on Sept. 9.

“It is all about finding your pace,” said Mills, “once you keep working at your goal of finding the pace that works for you, then you can start trying to improve in practice.”

The girls’ cross-country team has been working extremely hard this year, even after the team has lost a few runners due to injuries. Top runners freshman Madison Dingess and sophomore Chyler Van Rhoon have also been out.

On the JV team, just like the Varsity, the top runners change weekly. However, currently, the three top runners are freshmen Emmy Michael, Jaden Helterbrand, and Jessica Guerrini.

Both varsity and JV practice together, five days a week, Monday through Friday. Most of their meets take place on Saturday, but if they end up having a meet during the week the team will find time to practice on Saturday. Their only day off is on Sunday, and the girls are advised to not run on their own that day. They have to take a break at some point.

“I love meet days. I love the feeling of taking everything I have worked for during the week and putting it all out on the course at the end. We have all been working so hard this year, and I am so proud of how far we’ve come,” said Mills.

“There are girls out because of injuries, but even then, they are all working as hard as the rest of us. I love the bond and determination we all have; it’s what makes us all….us.”

The girls traveled to Northwest Indiana to participate in the Highland Invitational. At first they were supposed to run in two separate races, varsity and JV, but since it was so hot, they improvised and mushed the teams into one big race.

“We’ve had an outstanding season to this point,” says coach Mike Armstrong.
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Injured O’Brian perseveres to help team finish strong