Girls Varsity Cross Country
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Aug 30, 2019
- TROJANS: 39
CALEDONIA HIGH SCHOOL: 19
Caledonia Outruns TK 19 to 39
We knew heading into this race that it wouldn’t be on fresh legs. We had some really solid workouts leading into the weekend, but I’m sure Caledonia could tell you the same. The girls were not asking for excuses; that’s not how they are. They showed up and were ready to give it what they had on the day, and I couldn’t be prouder of them for it.
In this mono y mono affair on the Scots’ home turf, we learned why Caledonia is such a strong team. ...it’s because they are such a strong team! With this to say, I had a feeling we would have them feeling like they had to earn it. Sure enough, although Caledonia’s front runner, and senior Taylor Visscher put on the big hurt, finishing in 20:03, sophomore Jessica Durkee, did not back down, and shadowed her the whole race, finishing not long after in 20:24.
Jessie is amazing. She knew going in she would be up against really solid talent, but she too is one with really solid talent, and she wasn’t about to just sit back and watch the show. She was part of the show.
After the top dogs finished, a strong pack of Fighting Scots came through, taking the next four places, all of which were under 22 minutes. Following them was the Trojan’s senior leader, also under 22 minutes, Audrey Meyering (21:49), placing 7th overall.
Audrey looked great. Her body language projected being strong and in control, and she had herself a race, which broke up Caledonia’s crazy good pack a little bit.
Following Audrey was freshman, Maddison Nagel (22:02 pr) who placed 9th overall and third on our team. Maddie, took control of her race and got after it. She did have guidance from another one of our senior leaders, Elizabeth Meyering, but had another gear to go to and pressed on.
Next came freshman Lucy VanDemark (22:28) who battled stomach issues, but had the determination to overcome them and to finish in 10th overall, and 4th for our team. Lucy, plain and simple, is a tough nut.
Only two seconds later, senior Elizabeth Meyering (22:30) finished 11th overall and 5th on our team. Elizabeth was strong and steady throughout and really held our middle group together much of the race.
Freshman Lindsey Velting (22:37) had another strong showing, placing 13th overall, and 6th for our team. Lindsey did a great job competing today. It was a tough day at the office, but she got after it.
Sophomore Kendall Snyder (22:38) finished 7th for us, only a second behind Velting, placing 14th in the race. Kendall had a rough go of things, but I have ZERO doubts about her ability, her competitiveness, or her grit, and she will have better days; it’s just how she’s wired.
Additional finishers for the Trojans were Kelsey Smith (23:45), Ainsley Oliver (24:00), Emma Thompson (24:08), Emelia MacDonald (24:20), Gracie DeWent (24:59), Shayne Krystiniak (27:10), Natalie Alden (27:14), Megan Bargy (29:05), and Kristina Cuison (31:03).
Harper Creek Optimist Invitational
A better day could not have been scripted. From the sunrise with only a few clouds in the sky and temperatures tailored for running, to the varied terrain that the course offered, and to what was most critical, which was the girls showing up to compete, and it was a beautiful sight.
In the first of two races, our juniors and seniors set the standard for gettin’ after it, which was led by senior Audrey Meyering, covering the 5k course in 21:48, which gave her a medal position of 8th, followed by her sister Elizabeth Meyering, in 22:26, and a medal placing 12th.
The upperclasswoman did a great job today. They showed up ready to race and they demonstrated the kind of effort that is necessary to be competitive. Because of the unique race format, our rookies were able to see what that looks like at this level before they toed the line.
In the second race, consisting of freshman and sophomores, Jessica Durkee took the lead early and never looked back. She scorched the course in a personal record time of 20:04 and was the champion, with her closest competitor crossing the line nearly a minute later. Freshman Lucy VanDemark, made her presence very much known, in a medal placing 4th, and a time of 21:31. She was followed very closely by sophomore sensation Kendall Snyder, in a medal placing 5th place, and a personal record time of 21:39. Freshman Maddie Nagel, also very strongly in the mix, earned a medal in 9th place, and a time of 22:04. Lindsey Velting, also a freshman, was not about to be left out of the party, crushed it, getting the final medal on the team in 10th, and with a time of 22:18.
Jessie was ridiculous! She put on a clinic and sent a strong message that she is ready to lead this team and get work done. I’m so happy for her to have the experience of winning a race outright like this. So cool! If she had been in the junior/senior race, she would have finished second.
Although Jessica led the way, her supporting cast was strong. Kendall Snyder had a sensational race today! After struggling through last year with an injury, she took her first meet by storm, She was a critical piece in moving our super solid freshman along, and was a great leader on the course today.
This is not to say there wasn’t other excitement brewing. Holy guacamole! I’ve been anxious for this freshman class since they were sixth graders, and now they have arrived in serious fashion! Lucy, Maddie, and Lindsey were fierce!
With the combined scores of the point scoring runners, the Trojans of Thornapple Kellogg dominated the day with 25 points, with runner-up Richland Gull Lake with 40 points to their credit.
We talk about when being on the course we are there to compete and to give maximum effort, regardless of time or place, and these girls did just that! I am very proud of each and every one of them. The fire was evident in their eyes.
Although my main focus above was on our scoring and medal winners, every runner that is on our team helps make every other runner on the team better. They are stronger together for certain. Additional finishing upperclasswomen were junior Haven Beyer (24:57, senior Gracie DeWent (25:51), junior Megan Bargy (26:27), and senior Kristina Cuison (30:24)
In the freshman/sophomore race, additional finishing underclasswomen were sophomore Kelsey Smith (23:09), sophomore Ainsley Oliver (23;41), freshman Emma Thompson (23:59), freshman Emelia MacDonald (24:04), freshman Natalie Alden (26:14), sophomore Olivia Landry (27:25), and sophomore Shayne Krystiyniak (27:52).