Bishop Dwenger sending freshman to cross country state finals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Bishop Dwenger Freshman had never ran for fun until just a few months ago when she joined the school’s cross country team. In just a few months her times have gone down by several minutes. That’s good enough to qualify for the state meet on Saturday.

“If you watch her race she smiles during the race,” Head Coach Thomas Crum said.

Coming into her freshman year, Erin Strzelecki thought she’d maybe try out for Bishop Dwenger’s soccer or volleyball teams. She never thought she’d be running.

“Running is terrible,” she thought.

After rethinking her sport options, Erin joined the cross country team and is singing a different tune as she gets ready for her state meet.

“I’m really excited,” Erin said. “I feel awesome.”

“It’s a testament to her just knowing how hard she’d worked just to get there,” Crum said.

Crum said Erin didn’t know her potential at the beginning of the season, but that changed only by her second race this season.

“She came within 15 seconds of breaking the school record in her second race,” Crum said.

“When I ran my first mile everyone was like wow you ran that really fast, and I was like really,” Erin said. “Then I was like wow maybe I’m gong to be really good at this.”

For the state meet Erin is hoping to get all-state by placing in the top 25. Coach Crum would like to see her medal meaning she’d have to be in the top 20 fastest runners in the state.

“Every goal I put out there she’s always exceeded that goal,” Crum said.

“I try my hardest to get better every day,” Erin said.

The state meet is Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Indiana State University course.