Junior leads Falcons girls cross country in fourth year of varsity
By David Yarger
Week in and week out, those who read the Falcons Flashback report in the Tribune sports section will likely find a familiar name when it comes to Niagara-Wheatfield girls cross country: Victoria Achtziger-Hughes.
Achtziger-Hughes is coming off an impressive junior season, her fourth as a varsity runner.
Recently, at the Section VI 5K meet, she finished seventh out of 88 runners in Class A with a time of 20:49.45. The finish was just short of qualifying for the state meet. Coach Meghan Smith said, "My heart broke for her when we realized she missed states by one place."
Nevertheless, the finish was the best of any Falcons' runner, and Smith said Achtziger-Hughes had a lot to be proud of.
"She ran with heart and determination, and that's all I could have asked of her, but we both wanted a different result," Smith said. "She is a determined young lady and she will be entering next season with her sites set on states."
Smith added that Achtziger-Hughes is a hard worker, who has earned respect from coaches around the league and section, and she is a positive role model to the young group of varsity girls, which includes five seventh- and eighth-graders.
Achtziger-Hughes compiled quite the resume in her junior season, running a season-best 20:26; during the season she was name the school's athlete of the week and Section VI Runner of the Week; and she was also named the team's Most Valuable Player and made the All-Invite Team at the Clarence Invitational, as well as First Team All-Niagara Frontier League.
Along with a second-place finish at the NFL Championships, Achtziger-Hughes finished her season undefeated in league meets.
Achtziger-Hughes is also a member of the girls track and field team, which will look to defend its 2018 NFL title this spring.