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Wayzata Runners Headed To Nike National Championship

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(credit: CBS) David McCoy
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ask Mary Franke a question about them, and you’ll get a big laugh. They’re the shirts they’re wearing in the Wayzata girls cross country team’s official photo for the Nike National championship meet.

Let’s just say the Trojans are feeling super about their chances.

“Every team from every regional that’s going has to send in a picture to Nike Nationals,” senior Annika Halverson explains. “And they use it during the opening ceremonies.”

After winning the Regional meet, the Trojans will compete in this weekend’s national championship meet in Portland, OR.

“It was my idea,” Franke said with a laugh.

However, when you’re as good as the Wayzata girls cross country team, sometimes you can’t help but feel like Superman — or Superwoman.

“It’s steel, and that’s what we call ourselves, Women of Steel,” Franke says. “It’s kind of like a nickname, because we just feel that we were always working so hard, we’re like a close family, and we always push ourselves, because we’re extremely competitive. Always, that next step, how far can we go, because we know the sky is our limit here, and if we all work together, and we’re all close, and we all believe that we can do something, then no team can stop us. And that’s why we’re Women of Steel.”

As excited as they are about the “S” on their chest, what they’d like even more is a “W” at nationals.

“Oh, you have no idea,” Franke said. “We’ve been training for nationals since June. This has been our goal since June.”

This will actually be Wayzata’s second straight trip to the national meet, but they feel even better about their chances this year. One publication even has them ranked No. 1 in the country.

“I’m just going for the best I possibly can,” Halverson said. “I know the girls. We’re all just going to do as best as we possibly can. And see what happens.”

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