Payton’s girls varsity Cross Country team ended their season at the 2A Illinois State meet in Peoria on Saturday, November 9. The state qualifying team was comprised of Molly Lawrence ‘14, Samantha Foster ‘15, Claire Goldman ‘17, Madeline Nash ‘15, Esha Kular ‘16, Olivia Grondy ‘17, and Brigid McKeon ‘15. On the road to State the team had to first place in the top five teams at the Regional meet and then in the top five teams in the Sectional meet. Payton placed third in their region on October 26 with senior Molly Lawrence leading the team as the meet’s individual champion. On November 2, Payton locked down their spot at State as they took second in the Sectional meet.
The goal of any team’s cross country training is for their runners to peak at the state meet, which Payton’s girls team succeeded in doing. Payton found great success at this year’s State meet as they went on to beat every team that they competed against in Sectionals, including Jones, the Sectional champs.
The team placed 21 out of 25 teams, their best finish in Payton history. Lawrence lead the team yet again, finishing the three-mile race in 18 minutes and 53 seconds. This brought her a 46 place finish out of 210 competitors. Lawrence wasn’t alone in her success, as her six varsity teammates each competed strongly and helped the team place well.
Cross Country and Track coach Monica Carmody was pleased with their State finish and is looking forward to future seasons: “As far as our top seven go we’re only losing one senior; we’re a young and improving team with a lot of potential for the future.”