Shy of discovering the spring in which Otsego draws its water to create its alexor for generating other-worldly running powers, the ladies of the TK Girls Cross Country team put together the kind of effort that did what it took to qualify for the state finals.
âWe knew going in that Otsego was just ridiculous, and it wasnât necessary to beat them to advance to the finals, so we really concentrated on what we had to do as a team to move forward rather than looking at any particular teams,â noted Coach Wilkinson.
The Trojans had familiarity with the course which helped their cause, and running a smart race is what it was going to take to be in the top three.
âWe have smart girls on our team. They knew the course, and knew what they had to do to perform well. They went out at what I think was a perfect pace because it wasnât too fast, but it was still fast enough to keep them in the hunt.â
Freshman Audrey Meyering (20:15) led the Trojans to a second place finish, and the top three teams in the region advance to the state meet.
âWe needed somebody to take charge and give us a place at the pointy-end of the field, and Audrey did just that. She was determined to be in the top 15, and she blew that goal out of the water placing 9th,â Wilkinson added.
Having the team run in a pack was also instrumental in the success of the Trojans.
Coach Wilkinson went on to say,âAgain, the girls are smart. They worked their way through the field together. They kept track of each other, encouraged each other, and really were working as one, and I think this was a critical component.â
A tight pack was formed by sophomore, Sarah Possett (20:51), freshman, Elizabeth Meyering (20:53), senior leader, Rachael Gorton (21:05), junior, Alli Matison (21:11), and junior Lauren Lutz (21:29).
Senior Kiley Hilton (21:51) rounded out the top seven to help the team earn its runner-up position.
âI am of course really proud of all the girls. They did a fantastic job. A few of them were having a tough go of things, but they were strong enough mentally to keep it together and power through. If they had decided to let the day get the best of them, we wouldnât be going to state, but they persevered, and I hope they recognize that if they had given into the negative thoughts in their heads, that we wouldnât be going to state. I think they draw a lot from their support for one another. They donât want to let each other down. I love this about them. I love that they care enough about each other that they are willing to push through adversity for the good of the whole,â said Coach Wilkinson
The state meet will be held Saturday, November 5th, at the Michigan International Speedway, where they will face very serious competition, not limited to the Otsego powerhouse they raced against today.
âFor the moment, I want to take a breath and appreciate what the girls did today. At the risk of being redundant, Iâm really proud of them. Not only am I proud of the girls who ran the race, but of the girls who were along the side of the course to cheer for them, support them, and push them along. Our top seven werenât running just for themselves, but for the whole team, and they wanted to make everyone a part of the day,â added Wilkinson.