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Badger girls cross-country hopes to bounce back
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Badger girls cross-country hopes to bounce back

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Ford

Vivian Ford, shown during a recent meet, is one of the Badger girls cross-country team’s important returning runners from last season.

Over the past five seasons, the Badger girls cross-country team has been firmly placed in the upper echelon of the Southern Lakes Conference, winning two conference titles and missing out on first place by minuscule margins two other times.

Last year, the team finished third at the conference meet, which is still a solid performance. But it did not quite live up to the expectations the team had set for itself.

That disappointment has served as fuel for this season.

“We didn’t finish where we wanted to last year, and this year, we are ready,” head coach Stephani Reynolds said.

Adding onto the missed cross-country goals from last year, many of the girls also suffered additional heartbreak when their track season was canceled this past spring, to add even more motivation to the girls.

As a result, Reynolds says that the girls put in as much work over the summer as they ever have. During early season practices, that extra dedication has materialized.

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“We did a two-mile time trial the first week of practice with some of the girls we knew had been running; we were totally impressed with their times and how they looked,” Reynolds said.

Much of the 2019 squad has returned in the 2020 season, including most notably Ava Trent, who set the school’s record with a time of 19:42 during her freshman season in 2017.

Trent is not the only returner, though, as regular varsity contributors Vivian Ford, Kayla Hirschmann and Kate Murray are back as well.

Even as runners aim to return to the top of the Southern Lakes Conference, they are also focused on enjoying the fact that they are able to have a season at all during all the uncertainty of 2020 stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

“These girls truly feel grateful that they get to compete this year, and we tell them every day we get is a blessing. You don’t know when it could be taken away from you,” Reynolds said.

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