Chasing Greatness

Ally Kruger wins cross country state title and sets course record at state meet


A.J. Serna

Ally Kruger races to the finish line at the Forest Park Invitational that took place this season on Sept. 12 at McNair Park.

LHS Publications and 1326 Studios

Patrick Lynch, Sports Reporter

If you’ve ever been involved in a sport, then you know how demanding it can be. Late nights, early mornings, sore bodies. Competing takes a lot out of you, but it’s worth it in the end. This is doubly true for competition at the state level. As one of Liberty High School’s first state champions, and the first female state cross country champion in the Wentzville School District, junior Ally Kruger has been through a lot this year, but it was all made worth it by her win.

Coach Glavin, the head coach of the cross country team, said that this year Kruger’s greatest strength has been “mental toughness. She’s been real focused on her training, just worrying about things she can control, and she hasn’t been nervous at races or too worried about how fast she would run or what place she would be in.” She focused on only what was ahead of her, and didn’t dwell on the past.

Ally Kruger receives her state champion medal following her course record race at the state meet in Columbia. Coach Glavin stands by Kruger. (LHS Activities)

Going into the state meet race, Kruger said she didn’t expect to win as she was up against some tough competition.

The race was close, with several runners competing at the front of the group. Kruger was behind the leader by six seconds at the 4K mark, but she still looked like she still had an extra kick.

“It looked like Ally’s turnover was quicker than the other girl and I knew she had a chance of catching her,” Glavin said.

That little bit of extra turnover was the difference as Kruger started to pull away. “She (the Lafayette runner) may not have expected Ally to go with her.”

“I passed her the last 200 meters at the final stretch,” Kruger said.

Winning state was definitely something that was on her radar going into the season. Glavin said that she was in great shape to win this year.

“She came into the season in the best shape she’d ever been in,” Glavin said.  She had already been a state champion as a freshman for the 4×800 relay in track along with fellow student Megan Venturella. Venturella also qualified for cross country state, and set a personal best time.

Kruger was perfectly equipped to handle the pressure at state, and because of this, she set a course record at Gans Creek Columbia with her finish of 18:03.

“On the awards stand is when it fully sunk in,” she said.

Ally Kruger has reached amazing heights already as a Wentzville athlete, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.