The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

Beyond the Finish Line: Cross Country’s Journey to States


With a stacked roster of seasoned seniors and a few trailblazing underclassmen, the Olympia girls cross country team had high hopes entering this season. Their preseason started with a meet at Ocoee, where these Titans demonstrated their talent composed of power, consistency, and undeniable team chemistry. 

On November 17th, they tested these skills at the state level. They were able to achieve this with a group filled with standout athletes including Emily Knopfle (11), Aubrey Frost (11), Maddie Heald (12), Eliana Oquendo (12), Victoria Sanchez (10), Sandy Scott (12), and Elizabeth Hey (10). That’s not all though, their triumph goes deeper. It’s really through their commitment, team traditions, and unwavering bonds, that this team has been able to achieve incredible success.

Sofia Martinez

Lessons of Determination and Hard Work

For junior Emily Knopfle, cross country is more than just a sport; it teaches determination and hard work. With this challenging endeavor, she emphasizes the necessity of being 100% committed to achieving one’s goals.

The team’s success is a testament to their “consistent effort and daily dedication”, proving that the small battles won in practice pave the way for larger victories on the track.

Team Traditions

Knopfle also sheds light on the importance of team traditions in fostering unity.

“Our team has pasta parties every Thursday, which has really helped to bring the team together as a family. I think in turn, [this] helps us to improve since we are doing it with people we love,” Knopfle shared. This sense of camaraderie extends beyond the track, creating a supportive environment that significantly contributed to the team’s improvement and success over their season.

Victoria Urbina

Bonding Beyond the Track

Sandy Scott, one of the senior captains, also believes the team’s success isn’t solely attributed to their performance at practices and meets, but also the genuine friendship built among team members.

“While we work together well at practice and at meets, we are all truly friends. We often hang out outside of practice, whether it’s a beach trip or a weekly pasta party. Cross country seems like an individual sport from the outside, but to do well you need to work as a cohesive team. Without that bond, making it to states would not have been possible,” she attests.

Future Aspirations and Culture Impact

As senior Scott departs, she leaves a legacy of wisdom for future athletes: “never give up.” This advice extends beyond just running, and can resonate with any student striving for success in both their academic and athletic pursuits. 

“I know they will continue to work hard and shoot for the stars. I think going back to States is in their near future,” Scott adds. 

She believes the team will continue to stand as a beacon of success and set a standard for excellence at Olympia for years to come. Congratulations to the Olympia girls cross country team for making it to states!

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About the Contributor
Olivia Taliaferro
Olivia Taliaferro is a junior staff member of The Oracle. She is captain of the varsity golf team at Olympia, VP of leadership for the National Charity League, Director of Community Outreach for the Vegan Club, and an FCA Officer. In her free time, Olivia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing golf, painting, traveling, and shopping.
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