NOAH WATSON (LEFT) COMPETES IN THE 2022 STATE MEET!
When Christ Episcopal's Noah Watson won her first state championship at last year's Ochsner Health LHSAA State Cross Country Meet, she told media after the race that she "could not wait until next year."
Well, Watson is heading into the championship season of her sophomore campaign and not much has changed. Watson is still the No.1 runner in Division V after running a season-best 19:21 earlier this season at the St. Joseph's Invitational.
"It's been a pretty good season," Watson said. "The meets have turned out well. I'm pretty happy with the way it's gone so far."
She doesn't remember much about her first state championship--other than the cold, wet, muddy conditions on the state meet course at Northwestern State University. But she does remember it did not take her long to get back to work.
"I didn't really have that much of a celebration," Watson said. "I just got back on track and got ready for indoor."
While she has not bettered her personal record of 19:07, set at the St. Joseph's Invitational last year, she has been pleased with the consistency she has seen from her times in 2023.
"Even though I haven't PR'd this season, it's definitely been more consistent with the times all under 20 minutes," Watson said. "So, it's definitely been more consistent. But, we still have a meet this week so there is still an opportunity to PR."
Some runners have to wonder what their competition is up to and what kind of workouts they are running. Watson has the benefit of training with her nearest competitor every day at practice.
The No. 2 ranked runner in Division V is Christ Episcopal eighth grader Myrina Brown (20:02).
"It's very good," Watson said of having an elite training partner. "She is very hard working and shows up ready to work at practice. It's nice to train with someone who is in the No. 2 spot."
Despite having the top two runners in the Division V, the defending champion Christ Episcopal team are cognizant of the body of work produced by teams who have put up better numbers.
"I do look at the rankings and Coach Chad (Hunt) has begun to talk about it at practice," Watson said. "I think we are fourth. So we're really trying to get everyone to move up."
While not favored, a successful defense is certainly not out of the question for Watson and her Christ Episcopal teammates.
So what is it going to take?
"I think everyone just needs to work as hard as possible and race as best as they can," Watson said.
WHAT TO READ NEXT!