BETHALTO - Sophomore cross country runner Hannah Meiser had a big year for the Civic Memorial High girls team, with consistent top-ten finishes in many of her meets, climaxed by a fifth-place finish in the Mississippi Valley Conference meet, a third at the IHSA Class 2A Jacksonville regional, and a fourth-place showing at the Olney Richland County sectional, which would have qualified her for a spot at the state meet had there been one, Meiser did qualify for the ShaZam Racing Illinois XC Championships on Nov. 7 in Chillicothe, which served as the unofficial state meet.

For all of her accomplishments on the cross country courses this season, Meiser has been named the Eagles' Riverbender.com female Athlete of the Month for November, 2020.

Meiser, who ran for head coach Jake Peel, has run cross country for only three years, starting with her eighth-grade year in middle school, and enjoys the sport very much, especially bonding with her teammates.

"I have been running cross country for three years, one in middle school, two in high school," Meiser said. "My favorite part of cross country is having your teammates there. You build a special bond with your teammates, and I am super grateful for mine."

Meiser thanked her parents and coaches and teammates for all of her success in cross country.

"I would to thank my parents; without their support, I would not be the person who I am today," Meiser said. "They continued to push me all season long, and were my biggest supporters. I would also like to thank my teammates for being there for me when I needed them. Also, big thanks to coach Peel for pushing me so hard in practices, and practicing with me the week of the ShaZam meet."

Being involved in sports in general, and cross country in particular has also helped Meiser develop into the person that she is today as well.

"My high school career has helped me develop into a better teammate," Meiser said. "I have learned to care and respect for my teammates as well as my opponents."

Away from sports, Meiser loves to hang out with her friends and play video games, and in the classroom, is also a high honor roll student. She's also a guard for the Eagles' basketball team, an outfielder and catcher for the softball team, and runs on the track team, in any event from the 4x800 meter relay to the 3,200 meters. And in her freshman year, she almost decided to switch sports.

"I wanted to quit cross country the beginning of my freshman year and play tennis," Meiser said, "but decided to run cross country at the last minute."

Meiser is interested in continuing to run cross country in college, if given the opportunity, but hasn't decided on where she'll attend a school or a major as of yet. She is interested in both the space industry or the medical field as possible courses of study.

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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