The 2018 Mission Viejo High School Girls Varsity Cross Country team pushed new heights this past season, breaking almost every school record their team previously held and finishing their season among the best of the best.
Cross country has never been an easy sport, and even varsity runner Morgan Calcagnie will admit, “This sport is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.” But, as these MVHS girls continued to impress everyone and finish at the top throughout their season, they will all agree that the pain that comes with the races and the months of training they put in were well worth it.
This year, Diablo girls cross country made Diablo history. They had the fastest girls cross country team to ever grace MVHS and also had many other record breaking performances throughout the season.
The varsity team not only won Orange County Championships, but continued their victory tour by placing first in the South Coast League and second in CIF. Their crowning achievement was their unbelievable ranking of third in the state of California, earned at the state meet in Clovis.
The girls also performed well as individuals during the season, with Emma Hicken placing eighth in California and Kelli Hines winning OC Champs and South Coast League Finals.
This success was not achieved easily by the team. “With 6 out of the 7 varsity runners being seniors we have been through it all together and we know how hard we’ve all worked,” said Calcagnie. This team has gone through high school together and their years of work have paid off.
However, there was more at play than just the hard work and tenacity of these runners. The coaching was additionally tremendous and these coaches are the main reason that these girls were able to have this outstanding season. Led by brothers Chase and Taylor Frazier, these two dedicated coaches empowered these girls to accomplish their cross country dreams and aspirations.
The team consists of Kelli Hines, Emma Hicken, Morgan Calcagnie, Ashley Johnson, Sophie Mendelson, Lauryn Simons, and Patricia Hopkins. Alternates include Grace Fulwiler, Caitlin Ree, Katie Hulse, Madi Fawcett and Ella Stannard.
When discussing cross country, it is impossible to ignore the legend of Kelli Hines, who is known everywhere for her prowess in the sport. She has broken countless school records, she has the fastest cross country time of any girl that has ever attended MVHS, and is attending Yale in the upcoming fall (where she will continue to pursue her running career while also taking on IVY League academics).
The varsity team as a whole has endured hard work and mental toughness and in return they achieved success multiple times during their long journey of being athletes. Their cross country journey is now over but they ended on a high note and now have track season to look forward to. “This was the best season we have ever had and I am so proud and grateful for this team. However, not being able to run with them next year will be one of the hardest things ever,” said junior Ashley Johnson.
If their track seasons is anything like this last cross country season, these girls will be unbelievable. Kelli Hines was able to make state in the mile during her freshman year so will most likely not have a problem getting there again, Ashley Johnson won CIF for the 800M and additionally finished 5th in the state of CA last year in the 800M as a sophomore, so watch out for her taking the win at state this year. Also, watch out for the rest of their cross country team who will likely make it to CIF Finals or State this year for various track events!
If you see these girls please thank them for bringing our MVHS XC program DIABLO PRIDE and make sure to head down to the track for a meet if you wanna see these speedy ladies in action.
*Article received help from Madison Burnam (co-writer)