The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Cross Country Team Runs Their Way to State

Casey Stover
The boys cross country team runs during a meet on Sept. 16.

Both cross country teams qualified for the Class 3A state meet at the Granite City Sectional last Saturday, Oct. 24.

While placing fourth overall, the boys team saw top finishes with races from senior Ben Perulfi, who finished 23rd at 14:59, and junior Hugh Davis, who finished 27th at 15:01.08.

This year’s sectional team was underclassmen heavy, with Perulfi and Davis being the only two upperclassmen.

“Being a young team, we have very little experience as a group in most meets,” Perulfi said. “We still have so much depth, which is the best we’ve seen in a while.”

He described the most shocking part of the meet to be how fast the racing was. Only 18 seconds separated him and sophomore teammate Gavin Rodgers who placed 49th with a time of 15:17.84.

“Having three of the top four teams in the state in our sectional really made the team race a fast one,” Perulfi said. “On our team, almost everyone had a PR by at least 10 seconds…almost everyone in the race had a PR.”

The girls team placed sixth, making this their 10th consecutive season qualifying for state. Sophomores Madison Popelar and Antonella De Avila led the team, with a 14th-place finish at 17:48.35 and a 28th-place finish at 18:06.6.

Popelar said she was disappointed that she didn’t make it into the top 10, but she still thought the team did well.

“Preforming at my greatest to help my team is always what I strive to do,” Popelar said. “I am very excited to be leading my team into the state meet.”

She said throughout the season, the girls have been “working together” more than usual by hosting team dinners and runs.

“We got to know each other more personally,” De Avila said. “It has helped us to encourage one another in races and at practices.”

At the sectional meet, De Avila exceeded head coach Georga Patrylak’s expectations after passing her PR by almost 26 seconds.

“She ran a super PR for us and was our second runner today,” coach Patrylak told the Edwardsville Intelligencer on Saturday.

Knowing she wasn’t running as fast as she could’ve in-season, she was “shocked” when she saw her time. At state, she intends to further her PR by running in under 18 minutes.

“I think I’ll be able to achieve my goal because I’ll have much faster girls pacing me,” she said. “But only time will tell.”

According to Perulfi, to prepare for state against top teams like Plainfield North, Plainfield South and O’Fallon, both teams have been decreasing their mileage and pretending it’s a “normal week” to stay in a positive mental state and decrease stress.

The meet will take place on Nov. 4 at Peoria’s Detweiller Park.