Soria cracks top 100 in first state trip

Chris Steele
Nathan Soria runs at the Class 2A IHSA cross country finals.

Upon reaching the cross country state finals, Geneseo’s Nathan Soria took a look at where his hard work had taken him.

“It was cool to see all these athletes there and know they were all like you,” Soria said. “This was the pinnacle of their season, too. Everyone was there for one last race. It was really cool to be a part of it.”

The Maple Leafs’ Soria finished in 100th place finishing with a strong kick in the final half mile to clock in at 16:01 at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Nov. 7.

With the top 25 earning all-state honors, Soria came out of the starting gate in good position as part of a pack in the top 30 after the first mile (4:51).

However, by the second mile, Soria was paying for his early push and began to fall back in the field.

With a perfect day for runners, Soria’s mindset told him not to leave anything on the table.

“I knew it wasn’t the best day to go out conservatively,” Soria said. “I wanted to go out hard and be in a better position at the mile.”

Being the only member of the Maple Leafs team to reach what coach Don Fredericks referred to as the “gold standard,” Soria ran for more than 500 miles during his summer training.

Soria’s game plan to improve for next season remains the same, keep putting in the hard work.

“I’ll have to really step up the training,” Soria said. “We need to get more guys on board so we can go as a team. It’s going to take a lot of work to make that jump from getting to state to doing well and placing at state.”

Soria has another state trip in mind for the spring as he begins training for track season.

Last season, he was a member of Geneseo’s all-state 4x800-relay team.