Sophomore Savannah Spangler’s Second Shot at States

Grace Campbell '25, Staff Writer

PAVING THE WAY Savannah Spangler ’25 has led the girls cross country team since she was a freshman. She is the only women’s qualifier from South for states for two years running. (Amanda Frantz ’23)

Breathe in, breathe out. The wind is picking up, but for Savannah Spangler ’25, everything is calm. She stands at the thick white starting line of her race, crowded with runners she doesn’t know on either side. This is the state meet.

Spangler is a tri-sport athlete who strives to not only demonstrate an unwavering dedication to athletics, but kindness to everyone she meets. She is a devoted member of the Cross Country and Track and Field team at South, as well as a member of the travel soccer team, the Michigan Hawks. Her victories this season led her to stand on the state starting line on Friday, Nov. 4, as one of two South runners to make it to the competition.

Spangler recalls the day not going exactly as she planned, as the condition of the course wasn’t as great as she had hoped.

“The weather wasn’t really optimal for running,” Spangler said. “The course was really windy throughout the first half of the race, which was frustrating.”

Despite this setback, Spangler still managed to run a personal best. She also qualified for states last year as a freshman, an astounding accomplishment in anyone’s book. Even though she didn’t place this year, she still recalls having a wonderful time being with her team.

“What I like about cross country is the community,” Spangler said. “The running is just to work out, but it’s the girls on the team that I love.”

Spangler’s teammates, like Kloie Roy ’24, recognized her kind-hearted and humble disposition as well as her helpful attitude toward the team.

“Savannah sets a good example for the team through her words and actions,” Roy said. “She never has a negative thing to say.”

In addition to her stellar athletic performance and positive attitude, Spangler continues to excel in all her classes and doesn’t allow the pressure of all her sports to weigh her down.

“Keeping everything organized by using my planner helps a lot with balancing school and sports,” Spangler said.

Cross country coach Stephen Zaranek said he was proud to be a part of Spangler’s journey, and believes she has a truly “golden” character.

“Savannah has a heart of gold,” Zaranek said. “She will use her humor, work ethic and genuine feelings of her teammates to help create a daily atmosphere of fun, work and creativity.”