Cross Country: First-mile splits key Garcia's success

Junior Emily Garcia recently completed her third cross country season with the Lady Hubs. Garcia will look to finish with better third-mile splits next year. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Lady Hub harrier pushing for stronger third-mile times

Since taking up cross country during her freshman year, Emily Garcia has made strides in starting strong during each race. Garcia will be working to finish even stronger as she reflects on her third season with the Lady Hubs and trains for her fourth and final season as a senior.

Garcia lowered her personal-best time nearly a full minute from her freshman season to her sophomore season, earning the opportunity to run with the varsity team during both the IHSA 2A Sterling Regional and the IHSA 2A Belvidere Sectional. Garcia made the most of an unprecedented junior season, collecting Interstate 8 Academic All-Conference honors.

“I felt that I performed well this season,” Garcia said. “We were able to win some meets on both the boys and the girls side of the team. I thought I ran the first mile of my races well and I’m hoping to improve my third mile next season. My goals for next season are to become a better runner and to encourage more girls to come out for the cross country team.”

Garcia will be one of several Lady Hubs eligible to return from a 2020 roster that didn’t field a single senior girl this fall. Her efforts helped Rochelle’s girls secure two dual-meet victories this season including a conference win over Plano. As a sophomore, Garcia helped the Lady Hubs record a second-place finish at the fresh-soph level in the Interstate 8 Championships.

“I need to keep training and running in order to reach my goals,” Garcia said. “It was a challenge not having a normal season but we overcame the challenge by doing our best during each meet. The meets are what I’ve enjoyed most since I started cross country.”

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