This past October, the IHA cross country team took a trip to Orlando, Florida to race in the 22nd annual Disney Cross Country Classic. After taking home a victory, the girls had the chance to spend two days in the parks!
The girls were filled with excitement as they arrived on Thursday, October 4th at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort. “The hotel was absolutely incredible, even though my steak was subpar,” jokes JV coach Matt Joyce.
On Friday, the team raced a 5k at Disney’s ESPN worldwide sports complex. Sophomore Jillian Shea’21 placed first in the JV race, leading the JV team to a 1st place victory. The varsity team took home 2nd place as Tina Dadic’19 finished in 6th place with a 20:39. Tina’s time was the fastest overall time for the entire team. “During the races, everyone was cheering for everybody,” explains Rachel Bell’20. “The team got so close throughout this trip.”
After a refreshing pool workout Saturday morning, the girls had the rest of the day to themselves. They walked around the parks with their friends during the day, and enjoyed Fright Night later that evening. On Sunday, everyone had a day off from running, so the day was filled with plenty more adventures, and even some rain later in the afternoon. “I loved getting a chance to hang out with all the seniors before they graduate!” says Olivia Lopez’21, who was still getting to know the team as she adjusted to her first season of cross country.
Early Monday morning, the girls flew back to New Jersey, where they were reunited with their family and friends. Unfortunately, the team is unable to return to the Disney Cross Country Classic for the next two years, but head coach John Downey is looking to schedule another fun team trip for the upcoming years. Whatever they have in store for them, the team is definitely excited and grateful for every adventure they get. “This was such an amazing experience for my final year of cross country!” senior Carly Galiger’19 concludes.
By: Keara Skae’21 and Madelyn Novelli’21; Staff Writers