District Meet Recap

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Recap: The District course was tough…but the Vikings proved tougher.  This was certainly the most emotional meet of our season for not only the athletes but also the coaches and parents.  The course itself didn’t necessarily seem slow so much as just not fast. There were some turns in the last mile that were momentum killers, and there was a significant wind on some stretches, but ultimately it just seemed to be a slower race across the board.  The effort level without corresponding PRs seems to bear this out.

The Viking Men came in knowing they were a long shot to advance and looking to simply put up a good fight. They did just that, improving their overall team finish from 14th overall last year to 9th overall this year (and just two points behind eighth place).  This was the best showing the team has had going back to at least 2003 (the furthest back we have records).  Ben led the team once again, just missing qualifying as an individual by less than a second.  It wasn’t for lack of effort by any means; the 16th place runner just had a better kick this day.  Phoenix ran great in his last high school meet, finishing in the Top 25 (compared to 64th last year). Both Ben and Phoenix did an excellent job of getting off to a strong start and then working their way up through the pack. Tom followed up with the only personal record on the boys side, attacking after the first mile in taking over 10 seconds off his second and third miles from the week prior.  You could tell watching him that he was having his best day as he looked strong from start to finish.  Augie has been keeping pace with Tom the last few weeks but wasn’t having the day Tom had, yet he still put together a strong race finishing just 13 seconds off his PR on a day when PRs were tough to come by. Alex got off to a little slower start this week, and though his second mile was the same and third mile was actually faster it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start in terms of overall time. Chan had the opposite challenge, starting strong but fading a bit in the last mile as the conditions wore on him. Jared split the difference, starting slower then having a great second mile before fading a bit at the end.  The reality is that you rarely ever get everybody at their peak performance on the same day. Conditions and experience worked against us a bit, but it didn’t keep us from a strong showing as a team and it will make these men better runners in the coming seasons.

The Lady Vikes came in with a single goal and focus: qualify for Regionals.  Much as with the previous week at the NWOAL Championship, they came in knowing that they should finish in fourth just by virtue of their previous performances, but gunning for second or third because they refused to settle for a “sure thing.”  While Liberty Benton wasn’t going to be within their reach, Genoa and Riverdale were putting up team averages just a few seconds faster than Evergreen.  We actually ran a “mock District meet” using times from the league meets from the week before. The results were Liberty Benton, Riverdale, Genoa and Evergreen, with Ada a distant fifth.  As it turned out, Genoa brought a very strong performance to beat out Riverdale (although the top four places were otherwise the same), and Ottawa Hills brought a strong race to challenge just nine points behind us in fifth.  Sarah and Trinity both set new PRs despite the tough conditions, with Sarah not only breaking her own sophomore record but also setting a new school record. The duo made good on their goal at the beginning of the season to both qualify for Regionals by finishing ninth and sixteenth, respectively.  Ashley ran strong in the third spot, tracking down several Genoa runners in the last half mile.  Katie would be the first to tell you she didn’t have her best day, but as is the measure of good teams and strong teammates, she held on and fought through to a solid finish knowing her team was counting on her.  The key to holding off Ottawa Hills to qualify as a team Heidi as our fifth runner finishing ahead of their fourth. Heidi showed incredible determination through the second half of this race and it paid off.  Hannah pushed through the conditions to finish just seven seconds off her PR, and Alexis rounded out the team effort with a new PR of her own (her first of this season).

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Majewski Alex 21:32 71
Mitchey Jared 22:49 78
Pollard Thomas 20:36 52
Ruetz Chandler 21:46 73
Schwan Ben 18:17 17
Tipping Augie 21:10 65
VanOstrand Phoenix 18:51 25
Fritsch Heidi 25:15 40
Fritsch Katie 24:58 39
Garlick Ashley 24:18 32
Kelbold Hannah 26:46 47
McCormick Alexis 28:00 53
Schwan Sarah 21:21 9
Welch Trinity 22:20 16

This was a tremendous day for the Evergreen Viking Cross Country team. The boys finished off their season with the best team finish on record, and the girls met their goal of qualifying for Regionals for the first time in nine years.  Lots of hugs, smiles and tears this day…a great day to be a Viking!

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: REGIONALS!!!

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