The State Meet was a success for all of our runners. The weather was perfect, cool with no wind, and it made for fast times. Eleven runners in the 4A race ran under 16:00. A look at recent history of the meet shows that no more than six have run under that barrier in over five years (I didn’t go much farther back), quite a fast race. Only time will tell if the day was fast or if the kids are just getting faster.
For us, Katherine Franz ran within seven seconds of her personal best on a course much more challenging than the one where she ran her PR. This simply means she ran the best race of her life in the last high school cross country race of her career. Bravo, Katherine.
On the boys’ side, there were also good races. Ryan Bode, somewhat hampered with an injury, still ran competitively and with guts in this speedy race. He wasn’t really able to practice for the past two weeks and we were quite pleased with how he ran under the circumstances. It’s a bummer that he wasn’t 100% for this since he has waited so long to have an opportunity to run at State.
Brett Davis had a great day. He was bouncy in practice all week, and we were expecting something special. We got it. He ran the fastest time of his life. He too had a PR from earlier in the season on a flat course. For him to run his best time at the state meet on that challenging course is a great feat; he dropped from 16:58.8 to 16:57.2. Afterwards it was clear he was just made hungrier by the performance. He’s a junior. “Next year, top ten,” he said.
Congratulations to Ryan Bode and Brett Davis on qualifying for the State Meet in Jefferson City this Saturday. This is always exciting for the coaches and athletes. It is the payoff for having tried to do everything right when myriad obstacles are in the way.
Ryan has been rather snake bit in his career with regard to getting to State. As a sophomore he was 31st at Sectional by less than a second. As a junior he was quite ill and wasn’t able to compete at his usual level. Getting this monkey off his back means a lot. It was a mixture of relief and joy, at least for the coaches.
In the race both guys got off the line well and avoided getting tangled up in the crowd. They put themselves in position early and then ran to defend those positions. They knew where they had to be and fought hard to ensure their qualifying. In the last 200 meters they were nearly side by side and were in the mid 20’s in places. Both made strong moves to the finish, and I don’t believe either were passed in the final stretch. They both certainly made moves and passed others, so there would be no question and a bit of a buffer between them and Spot Number Thirty. Ryan was 23rd and Brett 26th.
I would be remiss not mention that all week we had nearly 15 kids at every practice, supporting the efforts of our qualifiers. It makes coaches happy that the team cares about one another, and they are thinking about the future success of the team. Thanks guys.
I hope some of you (everyone in Patriot Cross Country Nation) can make it to Jeff City to watch the final race of the season and the final cross country race of Ryan’s career. We appreciate the support you have offered all season.