Cross country season off to flying start for Marrs


Colin Daniels

Cooper Marrs poses for a photo during practice.

Kathleen Gannon, Staff Reporter

This year Riverside Brookfield High School was invited to the annual First to the Finish cross country meet in Peoria, Illinois. Junior Cooper Marrs ran three miles in 14 minutes and 53 seconds, resulting in a first place finish.

Marrs has won three invitationals so far this year: the Riverside Brookfield Invitational, the Elmwood Park Trial on the Trail, and the recent Peoria invitational.

“Some meets are more significant than others and the Peoria meet he won was definitely one of
them. There were 470 people in the race and he won, and it’s on the state course,” said head cross country coach Jack Brady.

Marrs recent achievements have not gone unnoticed. During the week of September 12, he was RB’s athlete of the week and was nominated for MySuburbanLife athlete of the week. Both were in recognition of the First to the Finish Peoria invite where Marrs won first place.

“I got all state sophomore year and it was a pretty bad race at state. I would say this year I’ve just put down my best race and my career this past weekend at First to the Finish,” Marrs said.

Marrs attended L.J. Hauser Junior High School, where his interest in running sparked. When he started at RB, he joined cross country.

“So, I started running in middle school just because my friends were doing it, and I guess I really took a step up in my running once I got to high school because I realized I could be something that I had a pretty good future in,” Marrs said.

Marrs has had many accomplishments as a cross country runner, but he also participates in other sports during other seasons.

“He’s pretty much a well rounded athlete, he swims, he plays baseball, and so you know that’s pretty good stuff,” Brady said.

Brady has been coaching Marrs for the past two years, watching him grow as a teammate and runner.

“He [Marrs] is probably one of the five best in the state of Illinois as far as the 2A [division]. And you know he’s a great teammate, he cheers on the others, he’s a great worker in practice. He’s everything you could ask for,” Brady said.

Brady has high expectations for Marrs and his future as well as the possibility of qualifying for the state competition.

“As far as cross country, we’d like to see him hopefully move up in the state. He was twenty second at the state meet last year, I know his goals are higher than that for this year so you know winning conference would be another one of his goals.” Brady said.

Although he’s performed exceedingly well in recent times, he has goals of improvement for himself as well as his teammates in the future.

“I’m really team focused this year. I’d love for our team to bring home a state trophy. Individually [I’m] looking just to place in the top three at state,” Marrs said.