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Ana Weaver takes 8th in State

Grace Wirkkala, Online Editor

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Fueled by her love for running, sophomore Ana Weaver placed eighth in the girls cross country State tournament. The tournament was held at St. Olaf College on Nov. 3.

Weaver is currently number one on the team’s All-Time Top 30 list. The list has runners’ times from 2015 to present day and Weaver clocked in for a 5K at 17 minutes, 52 seconds in 2018, making her the fastest on the team in three years.

There is debate among cross-country experts about the strategy of starting the run, whether it is more beneficial to start fast to clear the course or to move at a more steady pace. Some coaches encourage runners to stick together and run in a sort of pack. This method is useful if the team has a similar ability. Others utilize the strategy of running in 2-3 person groups. Both strategies work well depending on the abilities of each team member.

Weaver explained because of the way her team is set up ability-wise, their coach encourages them to run in smaller groups. She said that the smaller groups really help to bring the team together and allow the girls to motivate one another.

Both collectively and individually, the girls strive to achieve goals set by themselves and by their coach. Weaver commented on the camaraderie of the team, and how they motivate themselves to do better.

Our coach had a kind of overarching team goal for the people who weren’t running to really be out there and support.”

— Lily Shayegan

Weaver explained, “The team is always very supportive of everyone that’s running.”

The team worked hard to reach their goals at this year’s tournament. Junior and JV runner Lily Shayegan detailed what goals were set and how they were reached by each runner, even those who did not run in the tournament.

“Our coach had a kind of overarching team goal for the people who weren’t running to really be out there and support,” Shayegan said. “I think people really delivered on that. And I think each person has their own personal goal and just to have good sportsmanship.”

Weaver runs for the varsity girls cross country team, working hard to maintain her eighth-place status while balancing her academic workload and social endeavors. For some, adding a sport to their daily responsibilities can seem daunting. For Weaver, running equals a break from life’s stressors.

“When I run, then I just kind of feel free and it helps me relieve stress. Running just gets everything off my mind, and it’s just fun for me,” Weaver said.

This success could mean something bigger for the future of the girls cross country team. With hard work and dedication, the girls have the opportunity place even higher in the State tournament. Normal practices are often a few hours long, consisting of a run (the lengths vary), a core workout and shin splint drills. The varsity team, specifically, worked hard leading up to the tournament and plan to have the same gusto next season.

Shayegan explained, “I know [the varsity team] did some distance workouts, some speed workouts. I know they did four-hundreds on the track. They did eight-hundreds. I think they did 1Ks and I think they did hills and then I know they did some distance running so like fours, fives, and sixes.” 

Weaver is uncertain about her future with running but remains positive. She plans on using running as a stress reliever for the rest of her life but is unsure whether she will run competitively in college.

“Anything can happen,” she said.

Even the team website stays open-minded. In large font directly on the left column, it reads, “265 days until CC 2019 begins.”

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About the Writer
Grace Wirkkala, Online Editor

Grace is a junior and an Online Editor for the Pony Express. She enjoys drawing, playing piano, and being a guitarist in her band. She is looking forward...

6 Comments

6 Responses to “Ana Weaver takes 8th in State”

  1. John Franklin on December 21st, 2018 8:28 am

    This was a good article! Being in boys XC, I always knew Weaver was fast, but I never would have thought of her in the top ten in state! The girls XC team is young and strong, with a varsity consisting of a Junior, a Sophomore, and three eighth graders getting fifth place in state. I bet if they get another strong runner in 2020, they can win state then. But as Weaver said, “Anything can happen.” Grace Wirkkala, you are a great writer and I encourage you to keep putting up great articles!

  2. Paige Sanders on January 2nd, 2019 6:42 pm

    This story expresses cross country in a manner that is easy to comprehend. Being a teammate of Anna’s on the cross country team, she is a very hard worker as well as an outstanding runner. Every girl on the team regardless if you are top runner on varsity or come in last at a race, you matter and are always cheered for and I believe this story explains that in an amazing way!

  3. Toby Weiss on January 3rd, 2019 9:04 am

    This story delivered very compelling quotes which intrigues the readers, pulling them in so they want to read the whole story. The language used in this was very well distributed and brought forth a positive view on the sport os cross country. This story explains the importance of a supportive attitude towards your teammates, and how that can really make a difference. This article is very good!

  4. Toby Weiss on January 3rd, 2019 9:14 am

    This story delivered very compelling quotes which intrigues the readers, pulling them in so they want to read the whole story. The language used in this was very well distributed and brought forth a positive view on the sport of cross country. This story explains the importance of a supportive attitude towards your teammates, and how that can really make a difference. This article is very good!

  5. Haley Nelson on January 3rd, 2019 6:58 pm

    I really liked this article. I don’t know much about running but I have heard her name come up before though other people and its unbelievable how good Anna is at such a young age. The quotes that you got from the different sources were very good. I like how they are very detailed responses which is probably because of a very in-depth question. Nice job on the article.

  6. Soren Danelius on January 4th, 2019 8:20 am

    Great job on this article, Grace! I really like how you used your primary source quotes in a way that makes them very impactful and meaningful. It shows that they all have a very close connection to each other, and are all very supportive of their teammates achieving their goals. I did not know about Ana before this story but it is very impressive that she has achieved show much as a sophomore.

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