by Emily Lu ’25 and Yefan Jia ’25
Published Dec. 22nd, 2021
For many athletes, helping your team get to bigger and better places is a big and meaningful accomplishment. On November 20, that’s exactly what the Varsity Girls cross country team did for Montgomery High School when they advanced to the NJ Meet of Champions for the first time in school history.
This was the cherry on top of a stellar season. The girls won the NJ Somerset County Championships for the first time in October and placed second at Sectionals Central Championships and fourth at Group Championships for Group 4.
Through many trials and tribulations, from injuries and freezing weather to tough races, getting to this stage was not easy. Still, senior captain Hedy Yang reflected that “we were able to always pick ourselves back up and go after it again in later races” rather than “let those bad races get us down.”
Remaining a tight-knit family was also central to the team’s resilience. Many of these runners have been running together for years, creating a very dedicated and special bond with each other. They relied on this to persevere through the endless days of hard work and training that eventually brought them to the Meet of Champs.
For Arianne Bilodeau ’23, “in moments of stress and struggle, I found solidarity in my teammates and they reminded me what I am a part of.” Hannah Vardemann, another senior captain, added that “cross Country isn’t really a sport where you can perform well solely by being talented. It requires a lot of time, miles, and dedication.”
When the team found out they had made it to the Meet of Champs, they were relieved and excited although they had predicted they would likely be able to go. Being able to seize this opportunity was especially meaningful for the four graduating seniors on the team. According to Hedy, this was her last year to hold onto “all the little moments that make XC so special.”
Congratulations to the entire team for making it to the Meet of Champs and finishing a historic season off strong!