Benajil Rai

Back in the winner’s circle once again.

Senior runner Lauren Perkowski has won the LEC championship cross country race once again. The two-time LEC champion won the race with a time of 18:22:33. While Perkowski won the championship, the women’s cross country team as a whole finished in second place in the LEC championship.

With this being her final time running in the LEC championship, Perkowski said, “It was nice to see all of the girls come together. We’ve been training so much for this and it was cool to see what we could do with the number of girls we had.”

This is also the last time that Tom Pickering will be coaching for KSC in the LEC championship. Junior runner Chloe Page said, “He didn’t make a big deal about it being his last [LEC championship], but I’m sure it was sentimental to him.” With this being Pickering’s last time coaching KSC and Perkowski in the LEC championship, Pickering said, “She ran well and she dominated the meet as she has at the LEC level for two years. She didn’t have anyone pushing her so she ran a controlled race.”

With Perkowski in her senior year, this will be the last LEC race of her career. Although it was her last race, Perkowski went out on top. “It was kind of sad because in that race I knew it would be my last and I wouldn’t race regionals,” she said. Even though Perkoski’s cross country career is over, she will still be participating in track this coming spring semester. Perkowski said, “Now I’m just looking forward to track and going for runs again.”

Even though this is Perkowski’s second LEC title in cross country, she was more happy for the team than herself. “I think the team doing their best was the biggest part of the whole race,” Perkowski said.

Although Perkowski was more focused on the team, Page was excited to see her win. Page said, “I was so happy she won because she is so committed. It was very much deserved. She has a lot of great training and dedication behind her.”

While Perkowski was the winner of the whole race, the team as a whole took second place and many of the runners had all-time best performances. Pickering said, “We had eight varsity women compete and six of them ran all-time personal bests for that course, and some ran personal bests for that distance by a significant amount. I can’t feel bad about the outcome when we had six of the eight runners run lifetime bests.”

This is the last LEC championship in which KSC cross country will have both Perkowski and Pickering. Page said, “[Pickering’s] not the type to cause a scene, but I know he is proud of her. They have worked together for a while now and he is always proud of athletes who can push through difficult challenges.”

Although this cross country season will be Pickering’s last semester at KSC, Perkowski will be back next semester to run track in what will be her final season as an Owl.

Austin Smith can be contacted

at asmith@kscequinox.com