Last week she ran at Regionals at Brown’s Farm (McDowell’s home course) and placed 8th. This was just an OK run for her, and everyone else ran well, so it looked like she would have to run very well to get to the State Championship at Hershey. With two McDowell girls and two Warren girls ahead of her, and several competitors not far behind, there was no margin for error. The girls who were ahead of her had beat her all year. After the event, when they were giving out T-Shirts to the top 10 finishers, they forgot Anna. (It seems like they had lost all of the Strong Vincent runners’ times and places.) This was upsetting, but provided some extra motivation for today.
Today was just about perfect for a cross country race. It was cool, but not too cold, and Buhl Park was not muddy like last year. The girls got off to a quick start, with Katie Spade, the favorite, taking an early lead that she never gave up. Three Meadville girls followed, and then Anna was in 5th, with more Meadville girls behind her, forming a sea of red uniforms. Runners from Central, Warren, and McDowell followed.
As the race progressed, the runners spread out, but Julie Osmanski from McDowell started catching up to Anna. They stayed very close together for the rest of the race. Here is Anna in red and Julie in blue.
By the end of the second mile, Katie Spade was out of sight of the other runners, the three Meadville girls were following, and Anna was in 4th, with Julie close behind and several others who could catch up if she got tired.
But Anna did not tire. She moved into 4th place, with Julie right behind her, and she kept on going. Here are some runners coming in to the chute about 100 yards from the finish line. Katie Spade is first at 19:57. Unfortunately she was too fast for me and my camera, so I didn’t get all of her in this picture.
Here are the first two Meadville girls, Caitlin Hancox and Elesia Wilson. Elesia caught Caitlin at the end.
Here is Anna near the end. She was about 3 seconds ahead of Julie at this time, so they didn’t both get in the picture.
Anna kept ahead in the final sprint to come in 4th place with a time of 20:54.
So it is on to Hershey we go. I promised to give her lots of money to buy chocolate. (I know how to motivate a female.)