Sophomore cross country runner Rhiannon LaZellaEDWARDSVILLE - Sophomore cross country runner Rhiannon LaZella enjoyed a strong season at Metro-East Lutheran High School, as she was often the leading runner for the Knights' girls team, which climaxed at the IHSA Class 1A regional at Carlinville, where she was Metro-East's leading runner with a time of 22:05.08.

For all of her efforts on the courses this season, LaZella was named the Knights' Riverbender.com Female Athlete of the Month for December, 2020.

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LaZella, who ran for head coach Ruth Thompson, completed her second season as a cross country runner, and enjoys the sport and its positive aspects very much.

"I've been doing cross country since my freshman year," LaZella said. "I really like how close our team is, how supportive the crowds always are no matter how you do, and how almost every cross country runner can bond over their love-hate relationship with the sport."

LaZella thanked her parents and her teammates on the Knights for all of the support during the season.

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"I would like to thank my parents for taking me to and from the meets this year," LaZella said, "and I would also like to thanks McKenna Getta, Natalie Blair and Sam Disher for being so encouraging, and for being amazing teammates."

LaZella feels the lessons she's learned in being involved in sports have helped her tremendously.

"My involvement with sports has helped me have more confidence in myself," LaZella said, "and has always forced me to bring spare supplies for my teammates, just in case."

In addition to running, LaZella plays for the girls' soccer team at Metro-East, where she's a valuable utility player, usually at center back, but can play center midfielder, and when needed, have a go as the Knights' goalkeeper. For hobbies, LaZella enjoys reading, painting and listening to music.

LaZella also hopes to run in college, but hasn't yet decided where she'll go to school. She prefers to stay close to home for college and plans on majoring in nursing, where she hopes to become an Army nurse in the future.

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation with our area high schools. This is a great honor 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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