On Friday, November 5, the Baylor cross country teams traveled to Hendersonville, Tennessee for the TSSA State Championship, where the girls' team won third with 124 total points—merely one point behind the second place—and brought home the Individual State Champion.
Alongside over one hundred other runners, Mae Mae Powe ‘24 raced her way to first place, earning the title of State Champion at 19:02.12. Head Coach Heather Ott remarks, "Mae Mae Powe is now a part of a special group—Individual State Champions." Powe is Baylor's second-ever State Champion, as well as the first in ten years.
Ott remarks Powe "has poise and an exceptional confidence in herself that connects directly to her teammates because she wants to lead her 'sisters' and to honor Baylor School." Sophomore Helen Webb also had a major win as she made it onto the All-State podium for the third year in a row.
Though the season has been a success, Ott originally wasn't sure that they would have a season due to the pandemic. "Like all coaches, I wanted desperately to have a season—largely because I knew that our senior captains would be exceptional—and they were!" Ott says. Rosa Anderson-Barrera '21 and Janie Pippenger '21 "shepherded this young group through months of social distancing and mask training, and they helped the coaches make our practicing and racing fun and purposeful."
Anderson-Barrera had a time of 21:46.56, and Pippenger followed closely behind at 21:58.36. Not only are the two excellent runners, but, as Ott says, "they are also effective and empowering leaders." Both seniors' dedication to BXC has shown throughout their seven years at Baylor.
Like other Baylor sports, BXC has faced its fair share of challenges this year, but Ott's immense pride is evident as she reflects on the season. Despite the pandemic and any other setbacks, BXC demonstrates how powerful a loving, strong-willed community and an optimistic mindset can be.