Skip Navigation

go trojans!

Thornapple Kellogg High School


go trojans!

Thornapple Kellogg High School

go trojans!

Thornapple Kellogg High School

Game Summaries & Headlines.

Game Summary

2 months ago

Girls Varsity Cross Country vs. Barry County Championship Meet

Game Date
Nov 1, 2021


Ultimately this is going to be another “Coach Sap” production. Buckle in.

It is said that if you can’t keep up with the big dogs, then stay on the porch. We will continue to get off the porch to compete with the big dogs the best we can. We know what that feels like and we know what it takes. At times we are in it and at times we come up short, but we are going to keep on bringin’ it!. Having said this, and  to continue the convoluted metaphor I’ve got going here, in this dog-eat-dog world of cross country, especially in the world of Division II girls on the westside; it’s fun to be the big dog once in a while. At the Barry County Championship Meet, tonight was our night to be the big dogs.

For most of us out there, no matter what color jersey was being worn, this was the last meet of the season, and for some, the last meet of their high school cross country careers. With this in mind, everyone on the course ran like it too. We have a lot of respect for the teams we were competing against, and the girls on all the teams put their best foot forward.

I digress. Maintaining a tradition from as far back as I know, the TK Girls Cross Country team has been the Barry County Champions, and tonight it felt good to keep that tradition alive. Although Ava and I agreed...ok, maybe just I agreed and Ava played along by nodding...Ava was going to hang back or at least just stay on the shoulder of whoever led out the race for the first mile, and then have freedom to do whatever she wanted. I think that lasted about 200 meters. Ava Crews likes to lead. And so she did, all the way to the finish line to earn the title of Barry County Champion.

Another girl I know used to be the same way, but the wisdom of miles and seasons under her belt has helped her evolve into the more tactical runner she is today, and that girl is Jessica Durkee. She patiently worked her way through the field to finish second for the team and earned the title of Barry County Champion Runner-up.

Not to diminish any other individual performance because everyone did great, I’m going to pause right there and look through a broader lens. There was a sea of orange and black that ebbed and flowed through the field as the girls worked their way up to the front. They all knew this was supposed to be fun, but they also knew that work had to be done to uphold our status and to have some serious fun.

There wasn’t a girl on our team that didn’t know what we were there for. Everyone worked hard, made themselves proud, made their families proud, and represented themselves beautifully. Not everyone gets a trophy. We know this because we’ve been in meets where we didn’t get the trophy. So, I just about broke my face with the smile I had on when the girls cheered and hoisted tonight’s trophy. Yes, this meet is on a small stage, but we still have aspirations of larger trophies on bigger stages. Tonight though, we were going to enjoy our moment...and we did.

One tradition I may or may not have started, but we’ve done since I’ve been here is to have the seniors lead the team one last time across the finish line together. It’s a moment to celebrate not only a season well done, but a season of life well spent. It’s always emotional for me and for them, but it’s our way of “putting a bow on it”. We missed having senior Ainsley Oliver with us tonight, because she was attending a funeral for a family friend, but she was in our hearts and minds for that last stretch as well. The photo I’m attaching is that finish line. Thank you seniors from left to right: Kelsey Smith, Jessica Durkee, Kendall Snyder, Olivia Landry, Anna Benedict, and not shown, Ainsley Oliver. You have made us proud!

Congratulations Barry County Cross Country Champions!