The Cass Tech girls cross country team won the DPSCD Public School League City Championship, which took place at Belle Isle this fall. The last time the team won the championship was in 2004.
Cass Tech coach Jasmine Wilks attributed the team's victory to their perseverance and their resilience.
“We pushed through the injuries and they were able to be healthy and end the season," Wilks said.
At Cass Tech, some coaches require their teams to participate in the track and field and cross country program. Wilks said that many of her runners are dual athletes. Sophomore Aliyah Coleman said she hadn’t even planned on running.
Coleman was a part of the championship team because her basketball coach required it.
“I honestly made it by mistake, because I only started running because my basketball coach told me that we had to run cross country,” Coleman said.
Though it hasn't been an easy season due to several injuries, the girls not only beat out all DPSCD schools, but they also faced their challenges head on, Wilks said.
The runners were made up of underclassmen, six sophomores and four freshmen. For some of the girls, like freshman Paris Williams, it had been their first year competing on a high school team.
Williams shared some encouraging words for young girls interested in becoming cross country athletes.
“I would say to never give up and even though it's hard to just push through and like, it’s mind over matter, so just like, keep pushing even though it hurts, just take your mind off it and keep going,” Williams said.
Wilks said she expects the team to work hard and she encourages them to strive for greatness, on and off the track.
“Like Coach Jazz always tells us, it’s just cross country is about heart, so it’s not about winning or losing, it's just about having fun and keeping your mind straight and just to keep going," Williams said.
It has been a monumental season for the Cass Tech Girls Cross Country team and Wilks and her team hope to continue working to shock the world.
“... Our motto is 'Shock the World,' that's what we break with, that’s what we hashtag everything, Wilks said. "So we definitely did that. We definitely shocked the world."