The 2012 season left a sour taste in the mouths of the Charlotte High School girls cross country team. The Orioles season ended with the girls coming up just short of reaching the Division 2 state finals.
Since that moment, they made it their singular mission not to come up short this time around.
“This is a bunch that was on a mission and they got it done,” said Charlotte cross country coach Jay Gowell.
Charlotte finished third in their regional meet on Oct. 26 to qualify for the state finals, held this past Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The Orioles finished 22nd overall in Division 2, with sophomore Lindsey Carlson finishing 13th overall. Her time earned her second straight All-State recognition.
“Cross country is kind of difficult in the sense that you have to have five girls run really well on a given day,” Gowell said. “They went out and really competed and got it done.”
Gowell said it was very satisfying to see his team realize one of the goals they had set for the season. The team went 5-1 in league competition this year, tying with Jackson Lumen Christi and Mason in the regular season. The team finished third, however, in the league meet behind the two schools when Gowell decided to rest one of his best runners.
“We knew we had bigger goals,” Gowell. “We came back to beat Mason in the regionals.”
The girls team consisted of Lindsey Carlson, Hannah Garn, Andrea Garza, Lucy Sare, Kaitlin Stults, Maisie Baker and Olivia Jewell. The team captured seven trophies on the season, including one at the Carson City Invitational, which draws 100 teams from around the state.
Miles Garn qualified for the state finals as an individual runner for the boys team.