The girls cross country team was eager to run on their home course for the first time this season, perhaps a bit TOO eager. The ladies got out exceptionally hard in their first kilometer, ahead of the pack, and actually lead the field at the kilometer marker of Sectional 21. However, after such a blazing start, the ladies also ended up paying for it in the latter stages of the race.
“Hey, I like that we were in it to win it,” Coach Coy commented, “but we have to understand our strengths and what has made us so successful thus far. One through seven, we were out faster than we have been at any race all season. I think they were just excited to run on their home course that we practice day in and day out. It was a good learning experience for the girls though. Now that they have made that mistake, I don’t think we will see any of them blasting out next weekend at Regionals. We didn’t run poorly, we just didn’t run the smartest of races.”
The Marauder ladies were, however, able to secure a ticket to next week’s regional, hosted on the grounds of Rushville’s Benjamin Rush Middle school. With a 3rd place result, the ladies finished right as projected, but could have potentially been much closer if race strategy and training had been different.
“I probably overdid it on practice this week,” said Coy. “That’s totally on me. I knew we were going to advance, especially on our home course, so I sort of threw caution to the wind and we paid for it a bit. It shouldn’t hurt us in the long run, but it probably did for this week. I knew we looked tired on Thursday, but at that point the damage was already done. I think it’ll pay off two weeks from now though. The girls are resilient. Like I said, we didn’t run poorly given the circumstances, but I think next week can be a whole different narrative if they just run with confidence and play to their strengths.”
Winning Sectional 21 was county-rival New Palestine, followed a mere point behind by the Franklin Central Flashes. The lady Marauders took third, while Roncalli and Warren Central finished in a distant 4th and 5th to advance to next week.
The five advancing teams from the Connersville sectional include Centerville, Rushville, Richmond, Hagerstown, and New Castle. These five schools will join the top five Mt. Vernon Sectional teams at Rushville, where again the top 5 teams will move on to semi-state.
“The girls are already looking forward to next weekend. We like the Rushville course and we definitely have a chance at closing the gap to New Pal and FC. By all accounts, those should be the top 3 teams at Rushville. We just have to run to our ability, not take anything for granted in these times of contact tracing, and maybe we can surprise some people.”