Bellefonte girls beat odds and become cross country Mountain League champs

Luke Fisher, Senior Staff Reporter

The girls cross country season is coming to an end and the girls surprised everyone with becoming the 2022 Mountain League champions.

“It’s something I would have never expected,” junior Ashlie Aukerman said.

 Many people saw Bellefonte as the underdog in this race, but in the end they pulled out on top. There were still high expectations for the girls.

“I thought the girls’ team could pull an upset if everyone ran well.  It would take a lot to win though, ” Video Production teacher and Coach Mrs. Cipro said. 

The team ended up pulling through with junior Emma Liadis getting second place on the team and most of the other girls on the team achieving their personal best. 

The team did many things to prepare for the Mountain League Championship. Preparation during the season was split into three different phases for Bellefonte. In August, the team focused on endurance and strength running in phrase one. Phase two started in September, when the athletes learned how to race. In phase three, which started in October, they are focusing on being the fastest at their level and sharpening their legs for the championship. 

“I’ve worked hard in my workouts and I ran with the guys for a few weeks to get used to the fast speeds,” Ashlie said.

There were many surprises and memories made throughout the day for the team.

“I found out when I checked my email during the boys’ race, waiting for the two mile times.  I exclaimed, ‘We won!’ and then told Kate and Natalie, who were standing next to me,” Mrs. Cipro said. 

There were many shocked faces when Mrs. Cipro gave the news to the team. 

Senior Kate Rarrick was surprised at first, but when reflecting on it, it made more sense to her. 

“Even though our top runners were not front runners, our pack running really paid off. Our top girls may have come in after other teams’ first and second girls, but the middle packs came in way before the other team’s third, fourth and fifth runners. Our sixth and seventh runners did amazing and pushed the places of the other runners back,” Kate said.

Kate believes that the entire team put forth amazing effort to win this title.