EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It’s her favorite time of the year.
The temperatures are cooling, the leaves are changing colors and Anna Perry is running cross country races.
“Nothing compares to cross country, the team atmosphere, the individuals from other teams and parents,” said Perry. “Nothing compares in any other sport.”
The Eureka High School senior isn’t just running, she’s running to win. Perry is one of the top runners in the state but she feels like she has to prove it.
Last year, the Illinois High School Association didn’t sanction a state meet due to COVID-19 protocols. So she won the ShaZam 2020 Championships, which served as a substitute state meet.
This year, she wants to win the big one at Detweiller Park.
“Technically, I can say I’m a state champ but not at Detweiller,” said Perry of the ShaZam title won at Chillicothe’s Three Sisters Park. “That’s my goal to get a state championship win under my belt at Detweiller.”
Perry helped Eureka win the girls Class 1A state title when she was a freshman and she says she learned a lot by watching teammate Emma Argo win the state’s biggest race that year.
“Emma was never afraid. When I was a freshman, I would be afraid to pass a person,” Perry said of Argo, now a runner at Illinois State University. “Emma was never afraid. I’ve learned that sometimes big moves are important in the race.”
Now Anna Perry hopes its her turn to make a big move and win a state championship.