By: Patrick Guinee
There hasn’t been a Seton LaSalle PIAA states qualifier for cross country since 2016, but junior Theresa Lyle managed to break the trend when she qualified on October 24th at California University of Pennsylvania with a time of 22 minutes and 25 seconds.
October 24th was the day the team had been training for all season. WPIALs is the most important race of the year. All the hill repeats, section meets, scrimmages, long distance runs, sprints, and time trials were all leading up to that day. And while the whole team had been working hard, ready to achieve their best times, Lyle was the one who had the best shot of qualifying for states the following Saturday.
When it was time for the Single A girls’ race, the entire team went to the start line to cheer on the top seven runners, led by freshman Riley Mazur, sophomore Kathleen Farnan, and of course, Lyle. After the starter shot the gun, the runners sprinted off, and the rest of the team went to the finish line, eagerly waiting for the Seton girls to finish the race.
It didn’t take long for the team to spot Lyle, who was in the front of the pack holding 17th place. They cheered wildly as she crossed the finish line, and being in the top 20, securing her place at the PIAA State Championship Race.
The following Friday, the team left class at 9:30 to see Lyle off to Hershey for the championship race. She ended her season with a time of 21 minutes and 54 seconds and placing in the top half of all the runners across the state. It was an incredible way to conclude the 2019 season for the Rebels.
The cross country season starts in the summer, like most fall sports. Unofficial practices start in the beginning of July and go until the end of August, when the first official practices start. Once the season starts, there are practices Monday through Friday, 3:30 to 5:30, and usually one or two meets per week.
With a new coach, several new freshmen, and even some new upperclassmen, the team was looking forward to a great season. Despite losing six senior boys last year, the boys’ team still continued to grow with three new freshman boys plus one new junior and one new sophomore. Since there are no current senior boys, they won’t be losing anyone next season and are ready to continue to grow as a team and improve their times.
While the girls team lost five seniors last year, they are still looking very strong and managed to tie for first place in the section with Serra Catholic High School. Overall, the season was very successful and the Rebels are looking to come back even stronger for next year.