As a competitive triathlete, Riverside-Brookfield High School sophomore Nadia Kaczmarz knows about running.
Beginning her second season with the girls track and field team, she improves from a different perspective.
“I’ve learned always look forward. Never look back at what you’ve done. Look at what you can do,” Kaczmarz said. “Last year, I was running just for fun. Now I’m starting to see it more as, ‘This is really helping me become better. This is something I can see myself doing in the future.’ “
The Bulldogs bring higher hopes after the cross country team qualified for the 2A state meet Nov. 5.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs were ninth at their annual Gary Johnson Bulldog Relays.
Junior Haley Jurgens was second in the 3,200-meter run (12 minutes, 39.71 seconds), senior Maddie Hopek was third in the 300 low hurdles (51.28), sophomore Tara Janney was fourth in the 1,600 (5:39.18) and the 3,200 relay of Janney, freshman Emma Fortman, junior Emma Forberg and Kaczmarz was fifth (10:44.22).
Other top-eight finishers individually or with relays were senior Rachel Magee, juniors Alexis Garcia, Amelia Huebner, Paulina Linares and Isabel Montefinese, sophomores Olivia Beener, Mary Kober, Gabby Nolan and Melissa Oliviera Luz and freshmen Selena Axinte and Angela Przybylski.
Jurgens, Janney, Kaczmarz, Forberg, Oliviera Luz, Fortman and sophomore Cora Lutes ran at state cross country.
“Definitely going downstate for cross country has really given everyone a one-up on their potential,” Kaczmarz said. “Everyone’s listening to what the coaches are saying, trying to eat as healthy as they can, trying to do what’s best for their body.”
At the 3A Reavis Sectional May 12, top-two event finishers will automatically qualify for state and entries that achieve qualifying standards at the meet.
In 2016, Jurgens (3,200 in 12:07.61) and Oliviera Liz (4-9 in high jump) were fourth. Kaczmarz was fifth in the 1,600 (5:39.84) and seventh in the 800 (2:29.78) and Hopek was sixth in the 300 hurdles (51.02).
At the indoor Metro Suburban Conference Meet March 17, Janney was fourth in the 1,600 (5:52.21) and the 3,200 relay (Lutes, Nolan, Fortman and Kaczmarz in 11:40.43) was sixth.
Kaczmarz also is motivated to return to the USA Triathlon Youth Junior National Championships Aug. 5 in West Chester, Ohio.
In 2016, Kaczmarz qualified for the first time and was 54th (39:22.56) in the Girls Youth Elite division for 13-to-15-year olds with 375 meters swimming, 10 kilometers biking and a 2.5-kilometer run.
Now in Junior Elite for ages 16-19, those distances have doubled.
“Two years ago I decided I wanted to do it competitively,” Kaczmarz said. “(In track), I only do the 800 so it’s going to give me a one-up on just the finish, the kick at the very end.”