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ROXANA - The Roxana Junior High cross country squad had an outstanding showing at the Southern Illinois Junior High School State Meet this past Saturday at Foundation Park in Centralia.

These were the Roxana individual places:

Gianna Stassi 9th/185 12:14, Anthony Hardin 36th/186 11:29, Bailey Decker-Schallenberg 116th/185 14:29, Easton Johnston 116th/186 12:50, and Elizabeth Clouse 126th/185 14:48

Roxana Junior High Cross Country Coach Kelly Eberlin said she was so proud of all her athletes for their performances.

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Stassi was ninth out of 185 female athletes competing, the coach added.

"Gianna is fantastic and is only a seventh-grader," Eberlin said. "This is only our second year of the junior high program at Roxana. Gianna is an extremely talented born runner and also plays soccer."

Eberlin also expects all the athletes to do well in the spring in track and field. Hardin is the only eighth-grader, the rest of the qualifiers are seventh-graders. Coach Eberlin is a runner herself and she loves inspiring these young people to also adore the sport.

"We are small but like dynamite," the coach said. "The thing that is most impressive about this cross country team is they support each other like family. We have fun.

"Our goal is for them to love running and have success as scholar-athletes. I think being successful with running gives every one of the confidence."

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