Tumbling to State

Freshman Bri Farrias is congratulated by Coach Beth Brown after qualifying for the State Cross Country Meet. Farrias is the first freshman in school history to make it to State. Photo by Henry Carpenter

Only a couple of feet from the end of the race, Brianna Farias legs buckled, and she slammed into the dirt. With what little strength she had left she willed herself to roll past the finish line cementing her place as the first freshman cross country runner to make State in RHS history.

“I was in the eye of a hurricane,” Farias said. “I’m there calm and focused, but my legs gave out on the last stretch, and after that, all I saw was just brightness.”

As she tried to get up after the race, she collapsed back to the ground. Without a way to walk, or even stand, an athletic trainer and her father rushed to help her to a trainer’s table.

“She’s one of the hardest working runners I’ve coached in my 12 years here – she never complains and always leaves it all out there,” Coach Beth Brown said. “Its so hard to advance to state, but she did it as a freshman which is just so incredible. It’s so phenomenal how she did – this is huge for RHS.”

As she laid down with tears flowing, Brown rushed to her side to console her and ask why she was crying, when suddenly a smile grew across Farias’s face.

“It’s because I’m just so happy,” she said.

After getting back to her feet, she learned she placed 19th with a time of 19:26..

“My competitiveness is what separates me,” Farias said. “I’m not ok with being number two – I want to be number one.”

Her performance is seen as a huge accomplishment by her teammates and has given them confidence in ways they haven’t experienced before.

Teammate Osvaldo Barbosa said, “Bri making state is huge to us because she’s the first ever freshman to do that, and seeing how close she is to us Varsity boys makes us push our selves even harder,” said varsity teammate Osvaldo Barbosa.