Girls Varsity Cross Country
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Aug 29, 2020
Simply being able to run together was in question much of the summer. Camp was cancelled. Having a season of meets hung in the balance for a long time as well. So, when we finally got the chance to complete today at Harper Creek, we wanted to make the best of it. Our girls ran tough, they gave the kind of effort I have come to expect from them, and they really showed that although they were there with an attitude of gratitude to be there at all, they were still there to compete.
We started out strong, but with some restraint, as to not burn all of our matches in the first 100 meters. Harper Creek’s Madison Berning (20:38) and Sarah Berning (20:44) stayed with TK’s Jessie Durkee (20:16) the best they could, and they gave a good fight, but Jessie was ultimately too much for them.
The original plan for Jessie was to pull on the reins a little in the first mile to try to even out her splits, but when Harper Creek’s girls began challenging early, Jessie’s competitive instincts took over and she wasn’t going to allow them to simply get ahead of her. She gradually pulled further and further away from them as the race progressed and she once again demonstrated that she’s back again for 2020.
Sophomore Emmie MacDonald, who was injured basically all of the 2019 season, put in a lot of hard work over the summer, both with miles and with strength. She ran a very smart race tactically, beat out Harper Creek’s Jena Adams (21:27.9) in an epic battle to the end, and finished second for TK and fourth overall, in 21:27.0.
I knew Emmie was a great athlete and it is so much fun seeing her express the kind of athlete I thought she was and she is exceeding my expectations. Last year her personal best was 24:04 and today she blew the doors off that! She has arrived!
Much of the race Emmie and Kendall Snyder (21:40) worked together. Kendall showed great veteran leadership by running smart and helping the two of them push each other to the end. It helps a lot to have someone of Kendall’s caliber running with you and giving you confidence, and it’s great that they were pushing each other.
The next two runners for TK was another dynamic duo in Lucy VanDemark (22:42) and Maddie Nagel (22:48). These two work really well together. They are great friends and they really push each other to help the other do the best they can. They can run and have conversations without saying a word. They both get after it and raise each other’s game and it’s a lot fun to see them do their thing.
Yet another pair, and two who have been running cross country side-by-side since they were in 6th and 7th grade respectively, are back on the same team again. TK’s Lindsey and Holly Velting sister combination finished in 23:11.4 to round out TKs top seven. These girls have been great training partners for each other and they work well together, and although they worked hard today, I think they can go much faster. It’s going to be fun to see as time goes on.
Also running solid today were Ainsley Oliver (23:49), Emma Thompson (24:12), Kelsey Smith (24:43), Shayne Krystyniak (26:54), Megan Bargy (27:48), and Olivia Landry (30:25.
I am also really proud of all of our first year athletes on our team who are only just starting to figure out cross country over five kilometers. Along with Holly Velting, noted earlier was Ali Raphael (24:51), Emma Schut (24:57), Kate Powers (25;16), Laine Hinton (25:40), Marian Gielincki (25:56), Clare Webster (26:16), and Anna Benedict (26:48).
Of my first year’s, I am particularly proud of Anna Benedict who had no intention of running cross country. She is a very strong and fit young lady, but cheer is her fall sport which requires a different kind of fitness. When football was cut short, it also cut cheer short, and she came our way, along with Liberty Tetzlaff, who was unable to run due to injury today. They are hard working athletes, and we’re really glad they’re giving it a go in cross country. They are also representing cheer well.
I’m sure those outside the top seven today will be challenging for those spots as the season progresses and I look forward to seeing that happen.
On another note, although unable to run, we have three other additions to our team in Keanna Dudik, Christel Hoskins, and Mollie Moore who will lace them up and get after it when they are healthy again.
I mentioned to the girls that each day we are able to practice and each meet we are able to compete in is a gift, and to make the best of these opportunities, because who knows if we’ll get another. We continue to take things a day at a time, and as long as we are able, we’re going to continue to get after it. Our girls get it, and I’m very proud of them, as they should be of themselves. They represented TK well today.