Edwardsville's Julianna Determan leads the pack.EDWARDSVILLE – Julianna Determan just completed what anyone could call extraordinary cross-country career for the Edwardsville Tigers.

Edwardsville’s girls were 16th place overall at state as a team. Determan was 142nd place with a time of 18:44. Determan is signing a college letter of intent at noon on Tuesday at Edwardsville High School.

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Cross-country has been such an important component of her life since sixth grade. She has even said on more than one occasion about cross country and running in general: "It has been my life."

“Cross-country has meant the world to me these past four years,” Determan said. “I've met my best friends through this sport. I've been blessed with three amazing coaches that have made this sport more than a sport. We're all one family and I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to run with all the amazing people I have.”

Determan said making a final appearance at state was a great was to end her senior season.

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“We came in 16th place, which was the second highest we've ever placed in school history and I'm so grateful to have been part of that team,” Determan said. “ Going to state all four years is an amazing accomplishment. I was lucky enough to be able to run all four years with my teammates. Rachel Schoenecker was the first girl in EHS history to make it to state all four years and being the second was truly amazing, especially with all the talent that has come and gone through these doors. “

Determan is excited about running in college.

“I plan to run both cross country and track while studying cellular and molecular biology in hopes of doing stem cell research when I'm older,” she said.When asked what she would tell future cross-country runners for EHS, she said, “ I would tell the future girls to continue to work hard everyday and never lose sight of their goals or lose the love and passion for the sport that they have. This sport is such a work-oriented sport and if you have your goals, and stick to them, you can accomplish anything.”

The most memorable cross-country moment over the last four years came at state this year, Determan said.

“I've had so many emotions this year about cross-country ending and state was a really big moment for me,” she said. “It was my fourth and final state meet and I wanted to do everything I possibly could for my team. I put everything out there for my team and crossed the line with the fastest state time I've run over my four years. Not only that, but I remember having our team huddle afterwards and just finally letting all the emotion come out and having my teammates, my sisters, there for me.

“Finally, I remember Victoria Vegher running in the tent and telling us we placed 16th, the second highest we've ever placed. Pure joy overwhelmed me. It was the best way that I could have ended my senior year cross-country season.”

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