Name: Lianna Surtz
Sport: Cross Country
School: Rosary, freshman
Why she was selected: Surtz, a Rosary freshman, took second in the Class 2A state cross country meet in a school record time of 16:35.55, the first Royals cross country runner to finish in the top 10 in school history.
Surtz caught up with Chronicle sports reporter Jacob Bartelson to discuss her historic performance, freshman cross country season and more. Below is an edited transcript.
Bartelson: You are the first Rosary athlete to finish in the top 10 in program history. What does that mean to you?
Surtz: For sure, it's a great honor! I'm proud to represent Rosary and my team. Rosary has a history of great athletes, especially in swimming and track, when Emily Martin and Madison Ronzone placed first and second in the 1,600 at state.
Bartelson: What do you remember feeling crossing the finish line after finishing second?
Surtz: I felt happy that I got a big [personal record] and finished strong. My plan was to get out fast, contend for the title and get a good time. I was excited for my team because we placed 13th, highest in school history.
Bartelson: How do you put in perspective your amazing freshman year?
Surtz: Definitely exciting to have the opportunity to race experienced runners. I'd been looking forward to high school racing for many years. Even if I don't win, I look for ways to improve. Every opportunity to race is exciting.
Bartelson: What is your goal moving forward for track or elsewhere?
Surtz: My goal is to be a contender in the distance races and help my team do the best we can. I also have played soccer longer than I've been a runner, so I hope to improve my soccer skills as well!