Cross Country Senior Night: Domination at Final Home Meet of the Season


Noah Demo

Senior Marlee Kwansica leads the pack.

Noah Demo, Staff Writer

Weather for the last race on State High’s home turf this season was 64° with winds of 11 mph. Spectators near the team huddled before the boy’s 5k race, you could hear the runners’ relief and excitement after the rain race earlier in the season: “It feels nice out here!” The declaration captured both the conditions at Circleville Park and the spirit of the night. While each runner had something to prove, the seniors also had memories to make. 

On the boy’s team, seven seniors competed: Salahudinn Abdul-Hamid, Noah Earle, Adam Lieb, Michael Moeny, Mitchell Peoples, Nicholas Sloff, and Samuel Viglione. 

Sloff won with a time of 16:22. Sam Viglione also ran a personal best, earning second place with 16:54. Sophomore Isaac Opperman got third with a time of 17:06, a personal best. Lastly, juniors Samuel Endres and Henry Adams got fourth and fifth with times of 17:08 and 17:26, also personal records.

On the girl’s team, seven seniors: Alex Antonino, Eloise Dayrat, Amy Devan, Marlee Kwasnica, Natalie Koncoski, Grace Morningstar, and Natalie Wright. 

Senior Marlee Kwansica took the top spot, with a time of 19:32. Senior Amy Devan finished second with a time of 19:47. Third was freshman Devon Jackson with a time of 20:07. Senior Grace Morningstar finished fifth with a season-best time of 20:15. 

At the finish line, Senior Night was celebrated with banners of the State High senior runners. When asked, seniors shared similar highlights from the season and their time on the cross-country team.  

“Personally, it was never about running for me. I love my team and love to train. This just happened to result in a forward progression and results. My girls and I have shared many memories that shaped me into who I am today. So, in short, my team was my favorite part,” wrote senior Grace Morningstar following the race. 

Senior Sam Viglione also emphasized that his favorite part of running for State High was his teammates, “The people are amazing.”  

His favorite memory from his final season was “the rain race we did a few weeks ago or a week ago. That was fun. Hyping everyone up on the line, jumping up and down before to keep ourselves warm, just doing whatever we can distract from the fact that the race was likely gonna suck.”

The weather for that race was dreadful; however, Viglione also had a personal record and considered it a “turning point in the season.”   

Senior Amy Devan mentioned Senior Night as one of her favorite memories. 

“So far senior night might be my favorite. The race was a good ending to running on that course, but also being able to celebrate the past four years with almost the same girls is going to be a memorable experience,” wrote Devan following the race.  

Devan also concluded, “This race and the last home meet definitely set us up very well for the final three championship races.” 

The District 6 Championship will occur on October 29, 2022, in Reedsville.