Cross Country Home Meet and Senior Night Leaves Teams Eager for Postseason


Photo/Eloise Dayrat

Seconds after crossing the finish line, senior Jordan Reed (left) and sophomore Marlee Kwasnica (right) wait for the rest of their teammates to complete their race in State College, PA, taken Oct. 13, 2020.

Eloise Dayrat, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 13th, the State High Boys and Girls Cross Country teams held their senior night races. Both teams ran perfect scores with the boys winning 15-48 and the girls winning 15-50. 

Brady Bigger, a senior and captain of the team, won the boys race with a time of 16:07.

“Our team swept one through five which was good. It was actually our first win this year, which is kind of sad but I was happy with my own race. My time was okay,” Bigger said. 

Second place was taken by junior Sean Adams (16:55), third place by junior Trent Dinant (17:06), fourth by senior Bennett Norton (17:20), and fifth by sophomore Nick Sloff (17:23).

Multiple runners on both teams had personal records (PRs). Rebecca Donaghue, the girls head coach, was fully content with the girls’ performance. 

“We had a perfect score … we went one through five. That’s 15 points. They looked great. A lot of PRs out there,” said Rebecca Donaghue, girls head coach.

Senior and captain of the girls cross country team, Jordan Reed, won the race with a time of 18:59. Sophomore Marlee Kwasnica took second place (19:10), senior Karsyn Kane took third (19:35), senior Vivian Scott took fourth (20:38), and sophomore Amy Devan took fifth (20:42).  

“Everyone did such a good job so I was very proud of our team,” Reed said, reflecting on the team’s performance at the meet.

Not only did the team’s performance leave her feeling accomplished, but her individual win in the girls’ race made the rest of her senior night exciting.

“It was definitely super awesome to be able to get the win on senior night and I think our whole team was able to come together and all performed really well. It was a great way to end the past four years on our home course and it was just a lot of fun,” Reed said.

Similarly to Reed, Bigger expressed his excitement about senior night. 

“It’s probably one of my favorite parts every year. [The] time when we congratulate the seniors. Especially last year, that was fun. But I was glad to be able to do that with my friends and my family,” Bigger said.

The girls each ran well individually and are looking forward to their upcoming competitions. 

“I got a course PR and I wasn’t far off from my PR and I felt pretty strong. I had a good time. I felt good with my performance today. It makes me excited for how the team is going to do in the bigger meets to come. It makes me motivated to keep doing well and keep improving myself throughout the rest of the season,” said Kwasnica.

Dinant spoke on the impact of the team’s win.

“It was a real big confidence booster that we could just run that well and work together as a team to defeat CD East. It’s a huge confidence booster going into Mid Penns next week and districts [the next]. When we weren’t quite sure how we were going to do since we never really got a chance to run together as a total team. It went well and I think that it’s going to provide great things when we get into postseason,” Dinant said.

COVID has brought difficulties, but despite this, the teams have continued to carry through. 

“Handling COVID, it hasn’t been easy. Getting used to running with a mask on definitely hasn’t been easy but it’s definitely worth it, not only to have a season but also to keep my teammates safe … I think it’s been a good adjustment, actually, even though it may have been hard,” Dinant said.

However many obstacles the teams encounter, they encourage and lift each other up without giving it a second thought.  

“The girls, you know, they’re supporting each other more than ever I’ve noticed … We weren’t even sure we were going to have a season. So just to have a season and just to have practices, everyone’s been super excited and thankful for that. I think that’s really helped us as a team. It’s been really inspiring to watch too,” Donaghue said. 

If both teams can perform as they did on their senior night, despite being under such unprecedented conditions, State High can expect even more remarkable races to come.