EMHS Girls Cross Country dominates 2021 season


Jane Goza

Cross country runners practice and tune their skills at paced practices after school.

Avery Hamlin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Edmond Memorial High School’s 2021 Girls Cross Country season has been quite a successful one so far. With the leadership of Lisa Shinn (Head Coach), the Varsity team placed first with a score of 51 and a total time of one hour and 42 minutes, and the Junior Varsity team placed second with a score of 74 and a total time of one hour and 59 minutes at the Moore Lions XC Invitational on Sept. 11. 

Scoring for cross country is very similar to that of golf, as the lowest score is the best and winning score. The overall score for the team is based on each individual runner’s placement across the finish line. The more runners that place closer to 1st place, the lower the score.

“I was blown away [with the results]. I knew the girls were running well. They were running as a pack as long as they could.  But when I saw all of their times I knew something special had happened. But to win? Incredible,” Shinn said. “The Girl’s Cross Country team had not won a meet since their state championship in 2011. JV won second with only five runners participating, so that was unreal.”

This is Shinn’s first year as a head coach, previously working with the team as an assistant coach for two years. Clearly, with the great results in this year’s races, Shinn has proved herself to be an excellent instructor. The team’s practices are intense but intentional to create success. It comes down to the delicate balance of pushing for greatness and rest/recovery. 

Sophomore and Varsity runner Savannah Hull came in third in this last week’s race and is very close to beating the girls 5k record for EMHS. Her average time was three hours and 55 minutes, very close to the second place runner at three hours and 45 minutes.

“My personal goal is to beat the school record and continue to be top runner for this year. My last race slightly helped me accomplish it, and because of the time on my last race, I am more motivated to continue to push and improve my time,” Hull said.

With state just around the corner on Oct. 30, the team worked hard to maintain their streak at Pre-State on Sept. 25. Not only is Shinn preparing the girls physically, she is also dedicated to her team’s mentality. 

Our top goal was to change the culture of the team… to make this a team full of positivity and high expectation,” Shinn said. “The girls have surpassed that already.  So now to be able to shift our goal to team placement and individual personal bests is just a lot of fun. It comes naturally.”

Girls Cross Country not only dominated as a team, but a lot of runners also met their personal goals in this last race. From nearly breaking school records to placing in top ten personally, these girls are working harder than ever.

“I felt really good about my place improvements at the last meet,” senior and JV runner Alex Solberger said. “Personally, my goal is to run a 21 minute 5k before the end of the season. I’m not there yet, but this last race helped me get a little closer, and I hope to keep improving.”

Pre-state, on Sept. 25, went well for the team despite their minimal expectations. They have continued their good work, with Varsity placing third out of 13 teams and JV setting several personal record times. 

“I love this team to death.  Every one of our girls is family to me and to each other,” Shinn said. “I am so very proud of them as athletes but also as humans.”

With their current track-record this season, the team is excited to see the results of their hard work at State.

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected]