Cross Country 2022-2023 Season Recap

Varsity+Boys+Team

Varsity Boys Team

Lauren Walters, Copy Editor

The West Orange High School Cross Country team impressed this season, with the boys’ team finishing with a perfect record of 12-0 as well as claiming the SEC Liberty Division Team Championship. The team was led to victory by senior Langston Siguenza who claimed first place, followed by sophomore Sahli Negassi in 2nd and junior Jr. Henry Pfeifer in 3rd. 

 

The team’s coach, Jason-Lamont Jackson, shares some insight on the team’s thought process throughout the season. “We didn’t talk much at the beginning of the season about going undefeated or winning the division team title. I thought we did a great job of staying focused week to week in our regular season competitions, focused on our individual and team times; and not worried too much about the other teams.” 

 

Sana’a Smith and Coach Jackson

This year’s team featured some standout athletes, in particular, senior Sana’a Smith. Smith not only claimed the SEC Liberty Championship XC Crown but finished the regular and championship season undefeated. Jackson notes Freshman Ava Neretic as another athlete to look out for in future seasons stating, “Ava was undefeated in all of her races this season!

Ava Neretic

She showed great poise and discipline all summer and fall. It was a pleasant surprise this year, but I knew within the first few summer workouts that she’d have a great season!” Claiming the SEC Freshman XC Title with a time of 3:36 (2-mile race), just 20 seconds off of the Meet Record set back in 2017, Neretic proves a promising young athlete. 

 

Coach Jackson points out the impact that having inspiring athletes like Sana’a Smith helped pave the way for younger members like Neretic this year. “Our girls’ team wasn’t at full strength this season, but that didn’t stop Sana’a from pushing through individually and having an outstanding season! She led by example and was very instrumental in Ava’s success! I couldn’t be more proud of how she remained focused this season and finished her WO XC Career on TOP!”