For A Fourth Year In A Row Juan Diego Takes a Consistent Runner To State

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Mrs Pendergast

The girls team after competing well throughout the whole race.

Imagine running on a cold October day, with a sharp wind hitting your face and leaves crunching beneath your feet. Now imagine you are doing this against the best girl runners in the state. JD’s Cross country runners practice everyday, rain or shine, and it has paid off on their way to State.

Valeria Rico
Senior Preston Tenney gives the boys a pep talk and prayer before the big race.

“I definitely think the miles put in over the summer helped prep their bodies to run the distance for sure! I think also having to get up in the morning and run hard helped set the mentality to be tough in these hot races.” Coach Mryiah Fankhauser,the assistant coach for cross country said. Coach Fank has seen the runners grow as their own people from teaching them in health to seeing them compete in a race. She has also helped to create a strong and bond between the runners, which played a big part in the team’s morale.

The boys also sent three runners to states this year.“It was definitely very rewarding for me,” senior and state runner Matthew Hudson said. “It was a great way to end my cross country career. My hard work paid off this year, because I met the goal that I set for myself at the end of last track season.” For his first year at Juan Diego, Hudson, has been running all summer and working hard during practice. He is one of three boys for state this year. Hudson is going to state for the second time, and he finished with a dominating time of 19.02.

Mrs Hudson
Three boys, (Landon Johnson, Matthew Hudson, and Adian Hodlmair) made it to state and they all competed amazingly.

While I qualified for state sophomore and junior year individually, this year was the first time since freshman year that the whole girls team qualified, Which was amazing.” senior Captain Kristi Deffner said. “This meet felt different just knowing that it was my last meet with the team. I felt that I owed it to myself and to my teammates to do my best,” Deffner said. After four years of running, Deffner went to State for her last time. Deffner has been running for multiple years now, and is a captain for the second year in a row. When thinking about a dedicated runner Deffner is easily the definition. Deffner has gone from a time of  21.42 at state to a 19:43 and has even qualified for the national meet.

After five months of training, cross country is no longer a punishment. “I truly care about each of the runners and hope they see my commitment and comments are to help them succeed.” Coach Fankhauser finished. Like the team likes to say, Justice for J-Mo.