Girls cross country looks to conference


Photo by Nicole Jones

Seniors Denise Herrera-Ojeda and Lillian Pankhurst sprint off in the Open Race at Joliet West on Sept. 26.

Emma Figlewicz, Entertainment Editor

After securing the win with a tight race against Joliet West 29-28 on Sep 26, the girls cross country team stands at 4-1 in the SPC East Division. 

“As far as conference goes, we have the chance to do very well in our division, the SPC-East, but our overall goal is to keep improving and racing as a team with every meet we compete in,” John Prieboy, head coach, said.

“Our biggest rival is Plainfield South because both schools have been racing against each other for the longest time,” Daneille Dybas, sophomore, said.

As schools across the nation transition back into a normal routine, athletes have to adapt to new rules and changes set in place. 

“We don’t get to huddle in a big circle after our meets and we can’t hug or high five each other. Before Corona, we could run 20-30 teams, now we can only run dual meets,” Paige Hart, sophomore, said.

Through all these changes, the team holds their heads up high and does not let these unpredictable times bring them down.

“All the girls are excited to be at practice no matter what conditions are presented. We share an unbreakable bond, we always run together because we’re stronger together,” Emily Bargas, junior, said. 

This year holds one of the strongest teams Plainfield Central has seen. 

“Our meet against Romeoville the team scored a perfect 15.Coach Prieboy thinks that’s the first time in history this has happened to the girls cross country team,” Bargas said. 

Like all other sports, cross country brings its challenges that task runners to break through barriers and push through pain.

“Running has many ups and downs. Most people avoid running at all costs, It takes a very strong person to stay with it. Many challenges like injuries and soreness occur frequently during the season,” Hart said.

With the sport not being as popular as sports such as football and basketball, some people may not realize what the sport truly entails.

“What sets cross country apart from many other sports that you are competing against yourself while working alongside your teammates, pushing them to reach their personal best while competing against other teams,” Denise Herrera-Ojeda, senior, said.

With the 2020 season being as unpredictable as it is, Prieboy looks to the future and is excited for what the year brings for the girls.

“We learn something about ourselves and each other everyday we lace up our shoes, and it’s the greatest reward as a coach to see kids achieve so much personal growth over the span of a season,” Prieboy said.

The SPC East Division conference will take place Oct. 3 at Oswego East for JV, Oct. 16 at Channahon Community Park for varsity, and Oct. 17 at Plainfield North for freshman/sophomore.