the boys cross country team at conference
Image Credit: Braden Cardamone

On Oct. 15, Oswego High School’s cross country team made history at the Southwest Prairie Conference; the boys’ team placed as SPC Champions, along with the girls’ team’s very own junior, Audra Soderlind.

For Soderlind, a success like this brings a lot of hope for a bright future for a junior.

“I did know that I had one of the top times going in, so I had a feeling I would have to be in the front,” Soderlind said. “It’s pretty cool to win as a junior.”

Following SPC, she kept her expectations high for herself.

“Obviously, state’s the end goal,” Soderlind, who will now be competing at state this weekend, said.

The boys’ team had similar expectations as well: they were well aware of who their competition was and what to anticipate.

“Our very first race of the season, we had a meet that basically had all of the teams in our conference, and we did extremely well there,” senior Braden Cardamone said. “It shows a lot of hope for us because it’s been 27 years since we all qualified to state as a team.”

With a success like this, the boys’ team couldn’t be more proud.

“We lost by two points, so it was a nice redemption,” senior Ethan Forsell stated.

Nevertheless, the team members aren’t the only ones who are reassured by this win.

“A lot of it is kind of a relief: getting that big hurdle out of the way, it’s almost like breathing easier,” Head Coach Daniel Whipple said. “The fortunate thing about this year’s team is that the core of it is a group of seniors that have been together for all four years, and enhanced with some juniors…this group has really been all in for as long as they’ve been a part of the program.”

Whipple and the team have come close to wins like this year after year. With a championship at regionals, and a fourth place finish at sectionals, the boys’ team is moving onto state this weekend.

“We’re ranked top two in the state, by a lot of people, so we’re shooting for that state trophy, and possibly state champion,” Forsell said.

Audra Soderlind will be running this Saturday, Nov. 6 at the state finals in Peoria at 1 p.m., and the boys’ team will be running at 2 p.m.

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