While other sports have been practicing on the turf, the cross country team has been running through the trails of Wildwood with the TAAC Championship on the horizon.

This year, the team gained a new coach who has set a different tone for all of the runners. Stephanie Egan, previously the assistant coach for St. Ursula Academy, has been pushing every team member to improve their times and increase their stamina.

In the past, the cross country team has mostly had meets against smaller schools in Northwest Ohio, including Gibsonburg, Northwood, and Toledo Christian. This year, however, they have been a part of Division I meets against larger schools like Perrysburg, Northview, St. Ursula Academy, and St. John’s Jesuit.

With the larger races, the team has faced tougher competition than they are used to. This has prompted many runners from Ottawa Hills to run faster times and even set personal records.

The team has been especially strong this year as both the girls’ and boys’ teams won the TAAC Championship at Maumee Bay. The girls’ team includes only two seniors, Abby Hauck and Caelan Carter, and they helped bring the girls to victory for the TAAC for the first time ever.

Senior Abby Hauck states, “We’ve had a successful season so far, I’m running faster times than I ever have and almost beat my own school record that I set freshman year.” With her quicker times, she even has the possibility of making it to the state competition.

Everyone on the team has been pushing themselves to improve throughout the season and are looking forward to seeing the results of the district and regional competitions.