Ella Gilson '21 wins Div II Girls Cross Country State Title

It was a great day for Hawken Athletics and Hawken Cross Country over the weekend.  Ella Gilson '21 won her second (back to back) State Cross Country Title and Juliana Metz '21 finished 10th making her (back to back) All Ohio!

Ella vs Grace Hartman from Dayton Oakwood.  The head to head competition started at the State Meet last year, when Ella won the State Championship and Grace finished 18 seconds behind as runner-up.  Ella was in control from the start of the 2018 State XC Championship race.  The competition continued last spring when Ella and Grace battled in the last 100m for the Championship in the 1600m.  Ella won that sprint to the championship by .09 seconds.  This Cross Country Season it continued, at Centerville's Saturday Night Lights and the Midwest Meet of Champions Grace beat Ella by about 10 seconds in each race. 
On Saturday Ella and Grace ran together for the first mile, at the 2 mile mark Grace built a 3 second lead over Ella.  Ella remained calm and continued to run her own race.  With about 1,000m left in the race Grace started to hear Ella's charge and began looking over her shoulder to see where Ella was.  Ella picked-up the pace over the next 700 meters. With about 300 meters to go, Ella finally took the lead from Grace and surged from a 3 second deficit to almost a 14 second victory in a time of 17:45.9!
This state title for Ella, gives her 4 individual state titles overall (2X Cross Country, Track 1600m, Swimming 4x100 FR) along with 2 swim team state titles. She also has an indoor track championship in the 1600m. 

Juliana only completed 6 races this season!  Four of them were during the run to the State Meet.  Juliana was 3rd in the CVC Chagrin Division, 5th in the District Meet and her 15th place finish at the Regional Meet advanced her to the State Meet.  Juliana's perseverance paid off on Saturday at the State Championship. Entering the State Meet Juliana's season best time ranked her 91st among the Division 2 State finalists.  But, she did not let that deter her.  She ran with passion and determination throughout the race to a finish that was 59 seconds faster than her qualifying time at the Regional Meet!  Her effort resulted in a 10th place finish at the State Meet!         
The team completed their post season run by just missing a return trip to the State meet.  The top 6 teams advanced, but the Hawks finished in 7th place behind Chagrin Falls.  Ella Gilson won her 2nd Regional Championship and Juliana Metz was also a Regional Medalist. 4 of the girls ran their best times of the year at the Regional Meet, In addition to Metz, Julia Newman, Adele Metres and Lena Sylvan ran their best times of the year at the championship meet.  The girls were District Runner-ups to Poland Seminiary (#6 in the State). At the District Meet Andi Lee ran a PR which  secured the team's 2nd place finish.  Senior Jocelyn Chin was the 7th member of the District runner-up team.

Congratulations to Ella, Juliana, Girls XC team and coaches! 

What's next - Ella and Juliana are planning to compete in the Nike Regional Championships in Terre Haute, IN on November 16. They will compete against the best from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.  

Read more about Ella and Juliana's successful State Meet:
Cleveland.com Article
NewHerald.com Article
ChagrinValleyConference Article
MileSplitOH Pictures

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