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Girls Varsity Cross Country · Whitt Makes EHSXC History

Last weekend, Rose Whitt made school history as she won the Zaxby’s Invitational hosted by Southside High School. She became the first athlete in school history to win a cross country invitational. Her winning time of 21:19 was also good enough to set a new meet record. We caught up with her to gather her impression of her historic victory.


  • How did you prepare for the race at Southside? I ran as many hills as I could, knowing that Southside would be hilly,
  • What did you think about the course? As I mentioned before it was extremely hilly, but it was an overall great course. I did get lost at one point in the race, but I had a large enough lead and recovered quickly.
  • What was your strategy during the race? I decided to take the first mile easy and feel out the competition. I rode the shoulder of a girl for the first ¾ mile, but she began to slow down so I made my move and stayed in the lead for the remainder of the race, progressively picking up my pace more and more and hammering the hilly middle mile.
  • When in the race did you think you had a chance to win the race? Honestly, I never thought I could pull out a win. I just kept waiting for someone to catch me. I realized that I was really leading around the mile and a half.
  • What went through your mind as you crossed the finish line in first place? I tried not to look back the whole race but finally gave in a little after the two mile mark, glancing back occasionally to check my lead. As soon as I saw the finish line I could not stop smiling. I was so excited to pull out my first cross country win and to make my family and teammates proud that I couldn’t wipe the excited and exhausted smile off my face. Also I later learned that I set the meet record, making me even more excited.
  • How does it feel to be the first XC runner in school history to win a weekend invitational? I honestly did not know that until this question was asked. It is an honor to be the first runner at Emerald to win an invitational. While I follow the footsteps of past great runners, I hope to be leading a successful path for the young runners to come.
  • How did your time compare to your PR? My PR is 20:46 and I ran 21:19 at the Zaxby’s Invitational. This course was tough and I ran completely alone, which affects my time. Considering I ran the first mile relatively easy, I am very optimistic about this Saturday. Lakelands invitational has great competition and I know it very well, so I am hoping to pull out a PR in the low 20s or high 19s.
  • What are your goals for the remainder of the season? I would like to get in the middle 19s this cross country season and perform well in a few out of season meets such as Foot Locker Regionals, The Junior Olympics, and a couple of road races post-season.