Fairfield High School’s Ciara Colwell became the first female runner to qualify for the state cross country meet when she finished in eighth place at the regional meet on October 28.
Fairfield head coach Raymond Friend said, “I am really proud this year that we got a girl to go to state. That is where we started with the guys, getting one to qualify. I just hope that it inspires a few more girls.”
“If you put the work into it you can do some really cool things in cross country. It’s a unique sport, everybody gets to participate,” said Friend.
Colwell, a sophomore at Fairfield, had a tremendous season for the Lady Lions as she led them to third place finish at the district meet and an eleventh place finish at the regional meet.
“It feels really really cool to get to state this year,” said Colwell. “I want to be in the top quarter of the race on Saturday. If I race like I have been I know I can achieve it.”
When asked how her individual success would affect the success of the girls program moving forward Colwell told The Times-Gazette, “I absolutely think it will have an impact on the program. The work that I put in last season only to see it fall apart because of illness, and then to put in the work over the summer to get back to this point just serves as an example to the other girls.”
Colwell is also pleased to see her hard work paying off, “It is amazing to see all the work that I had to put in. All that work was not easy whatsoever. You have times where you get sick or it is hot or cold and it is definitely not easy.”
Colwell will travel to Hebron on Saturday for the state meet, the D III girls are scheduled to take the course at 11:45 a.m.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.