One has been here before; the other will experience it for the first time.
Shiner’s Mari Grosenbacher (left) and Riley Rainosek (right) get ready to tackle the state meet together Saturday in Round Rock. photo by Mark Lube
The Shiner Lady Comanches cross-country team will be sending a pair of runners to the UIL state meet Saturday ( November 9, 2019 ) at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.
Junior Mari Grosenbacher (Qualifier No. 11) and freshman Riley Rainosek (Qualifier No. 16) qualified as individuals for the State Meet. The Shiner Lady Comanches team finished in third place at Regionals and is an alternate team for the State Meet.
Shiner head coach Michelle Winkenwerder lauded the efforts of the entire Lady Comanche and Comanche teams for their efforts and accomplishments in the 2019 season.
“Our cross country athletes gave up much of their summer to train and to have that chance to run at the last race of the year. For Mari and Riley, it came down to being one of the top 10 runners, not on an advancing team, from 154 runners to punch that ticket for the November 9th race,” she said. “In a sport with no timeouts or substitutions, no halftime to correct problems or settle nerves, with inches between you, your competition, and a finish line, cross country takes an amazing individual to overcome all the obstacles this sports loves to challenge its participants with.”
“Then you throw in Mother Nature, an obstacle that no one can control and the ultimate equalizer, one can see why cross country is considered the one true sport.”
Grosenbacher ran in the state meet last year as an individual and looks forward to her second straight trip. Winkenwerder said Grosenbacher has developed as one of the Lady Comanches leaders this season.
Shiner junior Mari Grosenbacher (left) and freshman Riley Rainosek (right) qualified as individuals for the 2019 Texas UIL Cross Country State Championships to be held on Saturday, November 9 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Facebook photo
“Mari has been just one of the several great leaders that our cross country program has produced this season. Each one of those leaders have blessed our younger runners with their knowledge, dedication to work ethic, or mentoring at various stages in the season,” she said.
“When a program’s leaders are concerned with not just their results, but the results of their teammates, positive growth is going to occur.”
Grosenbacher will be fountain of advice and wisdom for Rainosek who will compete in state in her first season of high school cross country.
Last year, Rainosek got to witness the atmosphere of the meet and the two have already bonded this season.
“Mari has made a huge impact on Riley. From discussions on car rides to practice, to pacing in workout sessions, and even the crazy sock collections they now both own, they are more like sisters,” Winkenwerder said. “Riley experienced the state meet last year when she took time out of her schedule to come and support Mari and Noah that advanced last year.”
“I expect on Friday, Mari will offer her own advice to the course and how is should be run based on first hand experience.”
With majority of their hard work behind them, the only thing left is for Grosenbacher and Rainosek to go out and compete against the other runners.
“On Saturday, there will be a new 150+ field of competitors waiting to run at the highest levels; the hard work has already been done, the dedication has already been proven,” Winkenwerder said. “Saturday is about running for that dream to be better than you’ve ever been before and crossing that line with a newfound sister.” The girls 2A race is scheduled for 9:40am on Saturday.
[ Texas UIL Cross Country State Championships ]