A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Riverview’s Gwyn Fichte
Monday, November 20, 2023 | 10:02 AM
Cross country isn’t about individual accomplishments for Gwyn Fichte.
“It’s never about her and never has been,” coach Palma Ostrowski said. “Her No. 1 priority this year was to get this team to states, and she wanted to train right from the start of summer.”
The Riverview girls cross country team finished second in Class A at the WPIAL meet and 13th at the PIAA meet, and that success began from the very start of the summer.
“We had cross country camp where we lived together for a week,” Fichte said. “Then the six of us girls took a trip to Georgia. We used that time to get to know each other and bond.”
The bonding of the girls team carried over into the season, and Gwyn was the supportive leader of the group.
“She’s a very coachable athlete, very respectable, sensitive and empathetic,” Ostrowski said. “Those qualities made her a great teammate and a captain this year. We had three freshman girls soccer players join the team. They needed guidance, and Gwyn took them under her wing.”
Said Fichte: “It makes me emotional because I love this team and group of girls. What it takes to qualify that highly as a team is all the hard work and support from each of the team members.”
Even though she won’t take the credit, Fichte was a key piece of the team.
“We have this saying we call ‘Gwyntober,’ ” Ostrowski said. “She shows up when we need her the most: during WPIALs in October. This year, ‘Gwyntober’ came early and we saw a different Gwyn this year. She took the reins, ran really well and never fell off.”
Fichte finished 34th at the WPIAL meet with a time of 22 minutes, 6 seconds and 152nd in the PIAAs with a time of 23:30.
“She is one of 14 Lady Raiders all-time to make states three years in a row,” Ostrowski said.
Fichte took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q-and-A session:
What can you say about how well the cross country team finished this year?
All the girls put in so many miles this summer and worked really hard. What really helped us were the soccer girls. We love them so much. They contributed a lot to the season.
What was your most memorable time at an event?
After TSTCA, Hannah Hudak wasn’t having a good race. I was giving her positive affirmations, which she said drove her all year. It makes me so happy to know I have that impact on people.
What was your favorite course to run? Your least favorite?
My favorite is Cal U. Definitely difficult, but very rewarding. My least favorite, one year we ran in a park at Burrell. We ran three one-mile loops. It was so boring and flat.
You’re also on the bowling team. How and when did you get started in bowling?
I’ve been bowling ever since I could walk. It’s been a family thing. My mother got the bowling team started, and I began getting notice from colleges for bowling. I want to continue to bowl in college.
What’s the best game you’ve ever bowled?
Any other hobbies?
I play a lot of instruments. I’m a drum major. I can also play the flute, piano, the violin/viola, some clarinet and trombone, the alto and tenor sax. I know a little bit on the ukulele, and when I start my college major, I’ll learn guitar.
What are your college plans?
I have been accepted into Mercyhurst. I just have to audition to get into their music program. I also have an audition on the Nov. 18 to get into Baldwin Wallace University.
What will you study?
What is one fact that would surprise people to know about you?
I don’t do it very well, but I can juggle.
What is one piece of advice you want to leave your teammates before graduating?
Keep lifting each other up. Don’t be down on yourselves.
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