Brisbane State High School’s GPS Cross Country Captains Jacob Gross (Year 11), Jackson Cranitch and David Pearce (Year 12) have this year led the celebration of an historic achievement. For the first time ever, State High has been awarded the Jack E. Ross Memorial Trophy as premiers of the 50th annual GPS Cross Country Championships.

The team overcame obstacles unique to this year by maintaining a high level of training for longer, boosting morale amidst a postponed and potentially cancelled season. Jacob said they did their best to stay active amongst COVID-19 restrictions, hoping the season would go ahead. Jackson said, “We resumed training in June, at which point we split into groups of 10 with staggered start times.”

The championship event saw competitors attend only their race, eagerly awaiting their peers’ results at the end of the day. State High won the 13 and 14 Years age groups, achieved second place in the 15 and 16 Years age groups and fifth place in the Open age group. Jacob said, “For years we have come close to winning and we finally did it. Every member of the State High family was ecstatic.”

David described their team’s spirit as welcoming and inclusive. “The bond that we have due to the mutual love of running connects us like old friends.” Jacob said. “At State High, we are not just a team but a family. We support each other, give out a helping hand and enjoy the feeling that running together brings. We are grateful to our coaches for helping us accomplish this extraordinary achievement.”

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