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The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Sophomore Boys Lead Way at State

Sophomore+Boys+Lead+Way+at+State

 After three runners set PRs at districts, the boys cross country runner came to state with their eyes on a championship. 

  The team faced an uphill battle, as they knew their fate would not be as straightforward as the girls. At their district meet, they placed fifth, one spot short of the team qualifying. However, the top 30 individual runners made it, regardless of team success, and sophomores Dante Zou, Cole Craig, and Karl Barthel finished with times under 18, they would make the cut-off for state.

The team fell short of the state competition in 2022 by a margin of 79 points. However, the team narrowed the gap to just 11 points this season.  

“It feels amazing to represent my school. I love the colors and my teammates,” Zou said. 

Zou dreamed of qualifying for state since eighth grade when he started to run with Barthel and Craig. He hoped to place among the top 30 runners at state and make the All-State team.

“I just wanted to set a personal record on the big stage and maybe go under 17,” Craig said. 

Craig began running in the fourth grade, and after earning a time under 18 minutes in 2022. Throughout the season, he recorded a personal record of 17:33 in the district meet. 

On a very time-friendly course, Craig had the opportunity to run under the largest audience in his life. 

Zou had the fastest time for a freshman in the school’s history, Craig had the second fastest in history and Barthel had the third fastest. During their second season, Zou, Craig and Barthel set their best time yet at the district meet and continued climbing the ranks of Clayton’s best runners.

Despite all three boys recording their best times, Barthel’s goals for next season on an individual and team level are even bigger.

“I’m planning to do a lot more off-season work to make the All-state team next year and to bring the team to state to compete not just for myself but for the title of top five, top three or even winning it,” Barthel said. 

“I was able to see a lot of really fast runners, and it was my first time in a really fast race, and the first time I saw how high the competition goes,” Craig said. 

Next year, Craig hopes to be among the elite runners he witnessed for the first time and is grateful for the opportunity this brought to help him gain perspective this period gave him to take his running to the next level. Similarly, Zou found motivation in his rivalry with Barthel and Craig. 

“Karl beat me in two races earlier in the year, and he was extremely happy about it, and I was extremely sad, and it drove me to not let that happen again,” Zou said.

Zou also knew that maintaining a lead over Craig was a challenge.

“Seeing my friends around me was motivating to keep up with Dante and stay ahead of Karl,” Craig said.

Craig and Zou’s motivation and competition led them to record PRs, putting Zou in 89th and Craig in 99th place

“I thought everybody had a great meet; we were very successful. I think everyone ran their best meet of the year, so it was a great experience for everyone,” Coach James Crowe said.

 

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Charlie Balestra, Page Editor
Charlie Balestra is a sophomore in his second year on the Globe. He is constantly striving to write stories to the best of his ability. This school year, he is looking forward to publishing more breaking news stories, getting his drivers’ license, and hanging out with his friends more in general. Outside of the Globe, Charlie also participates in hockey and cross country. 
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