By Hailee Gregor, Staff Writer
No half times, no time outs, no substitutions. That’s cross country. Last Saturday at the D10 Championship at Buhl Park, freshman Sam Hetrick and sophomore Paige Fuller qualified for the PIAA state championship that will be held Nov. 2 in Hershey.
Hetrick, who finished third in the varsity boys class A race with a time of 17:00, had two goals: to qualify for states and to finish in the top five. He checked both those boxes with his performance. Fuller’s goal was to finish in the top ten, and she did just that with her seventh place finish in 20:46.
Coach Bill Hetrick is proud of these runners. “This is Paige’s second time qualifying for states, and Sam raced his heart out at districts. I am proud of him not only as a coach but as his dad,” Coach Hetrick said. Looking ahead to Saturday, both Fuller and Hetrick hope to medal at states, and their times at districts show that their goals are within reach.
In the run up to districts and states, Coach Hetrick spends time talking about motivation with his athletes. He shows inspiring YouTube videos and makes sure the runners know how much the coaches love them and are rooting for them. “We usually talk about the things that are most important. You’ve worked very hard, you’ve done your best, and we talk about what it’s like to be part of a team, and not just individual glory, something bigger than yourself,” Hetrick said.
The runners leave for Hershey tomorrow morning so they can practice on the state course. Fuller races at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and Hetrick races at 11:45. Results will be available @PantherPressSHS.
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School