With her mind racing and heart pounding, she stood at the line. She tuned out the roar of the crowd as she waited for the pistol to start. 3, 2, 1, go! The race had begun.
On Nov. 4, junior Addison Richter participated in the State Championship for Cross Country and represented Oswego High School as the 17th individual runner in the school’s history.
The competition took place in Peoria, IL, and hosted athletes from all across Illinois. Family and friends gathered to cheer on the runners as they competed in their events.
Once the race officially began, Richter accomplished her main goal of starting off quickly, getting out at 6.02 minutes in the first mile.
“That’s when I kind of started getting in my head,” Richter explained.
Throughout the Cross Country season, Richter had pushed through new levels of pressure and competition as the leading runner of her team, however, the experience of running as an individual for state was an entirely different ballgame.
Though she did not place, Richter’s race at state was in her top three of the season and reflects her dedication and passion for the sport. Her successes this year can be attributed to the hard work she put in to achieve her goals.
“She put in more miles this year than she ever has before. She put in a higher level of work this year than she ever has before,” said Rafferty.
Richter persevered through new levels of pressure and many long hours of practice to reach new heights as an athlete. During the 2023 season, she set all of her PRs and received a spot on the OH top 25 list of cross-country athletes.
“One thing I can say is that she had a goal, she knew what her goal was, and she attacked that every week,” said Rafferty. Richter achieved her largest goal of the season, qualifying for state.
Throughout her state experience, she had a piece of her team with her. She was accompanied by head Cross Country coach Alicia Rafferty and teammate Lucy Cler who supported her and cheered her on.
“It was weird because it was just the three of us,” said Richter.
According to Cler, it was important that the three-person team warmed up, trained, and supported one another at the state competition, hoping to bolster Richter’s mindset and help her feel as though the rest of the team was there with her.
Though Richter achieved her goal of qualifying for state, that does not mean that her hard work is over. For her senior year, she looks forward to pushing herself to continue growing as an athlete and working hard to strengthen her team.
“I think I just want to end the high school year with just a good year,” said Richter. “With us succeeding as a team together.”
Team bonding is something that is extremely important for the Girl’s Cross Country team. From weekly pasta parties to past adventures at State competitions, the girls emphasize a strong, supportive team environment.
“She had a great experience and I am hopeful that that experience is going to carry her into next year,” said Rafferty.
Her team and the rest of the OH community are proud of Richter for all her accomplishments this season.
My name is Natalie Raabe and I am a senior at Oswego High School. This is my second year as a member of the 42fifty team and I serve as a Managing Editor and the Features Section Leader. Additionally, I am a member of the BIONIC board, NHS, Best Buddies, SNHS, NEHS, Rho Kappa, and Mu Alpha Theta.