Sunday, November 8, 2015

state finals RECAP and end of season for GHSXC


Final GHSXC report

Gaylord girls come in ranked 10th after finishing 2nd in regional and end up 7th beating Whitehall.

The All-state performances of Alexis (4th) and Katelyn (16th) lead Gaylord to a 7th place finish at the Division 2 XC state finals.

Full results - http://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=106483#12967

With 150 schools in division 2 i would liken this to a season ending wtih 143 wins, 6 losses record.  It was also amazing to beat Whitehall who had just beaten us for the regional title last weekend.  Also, finishing in the top 8 puts us in the "quarterfinal" in other sports.  Sometimes a finish like 7th gets lost in the idea that 6 other teams beat us.  However, in other sports we would be elated to make it to the elite 8 as that means your team played in the quarterfinals of the state championship.

Alexis Smith - ends her GHSXC career with 3 "All-State" performances, running the 2nd best time by a GHSXC athlete in school history and doing it all with a smile.  Alexis has the qualities that all coaches love in an athlete - she listens, she works hard, she is a positive role model for the younger runners and she is driven to be the best she can be.  Her performance today was just spectacular and we are truly going to miss her next year.

Katelyn Smith ended her GHSXC career with a bang.  Last weekend at the regionals i think she had the race of her life and today she topped that with a 16th place finish in the state finals.  She worked so hard all summer with her sister to earn this and she deserves it.  If the race had been another 200 yards longer she would have caught another 6 runners and been top ten.  She leaves GHS as one of the top 10 XC runners in school history.

Courtney Busch also had the race of her life today at MIS.  She has been working for 3 years to crack the 20 minute barrier and today it happened with a solid 19:52.7.  Courtney works tirelessly balancing soccer and running and her drive to be her best is a quality that helps her achieve what she does.  As a 3rd year runner she earned all-conference and all-regional honors and today she was finally happy her with perfromance.

Brianna Martin finished today as the 18th fastest freshman in the state!!  The other girls improved about 20 seconds from their regional times, but Bri topped last weeks performance by 43 seconds.  She finished her season as our 4th girl after starting (back in August) as 9th girl.  She has listened and learned from the older girls what it means to be a runner and what dedication and hard work can do for you.  I am looking forward to the next 3 years with Bri.

Carlie Martella solidified our 5th scoring position with a near season best time.  Since her freshman season Carlie has improved by minutes and now is our solid and dependable 4/5th runner depending on her day.  Her foot speed combined with her endurance are going to be a quality that we need next season with the loss of the Smiths, Busch and Byrne.  I know Carlie really wanted to break that 20 minute barrier this season, but it was just not in the cards, thats why we have 2016.

Emily Byrne caps a fine two year XC career with two state finals appearances, a 20:29 best 5k time and a solid 6th runner all this season.  I know Emily wanted a bit more out of this season, but it just didnt happen for whatever reason.  Still, it was her performance in last years regional that will stand out for me as the highlight of her career.  She came into that race ranked in 53rd place and ended up in the low 30's solidifying our trip to MIS and the state finals in 2014.  Without her, our team would not have had the experience we had last year, to be at our best this year.

Alli Kowatch ended her season in a career best 21:27 today.  I am so proud of all Alli has achieved in the last 3 years.  She has grown from a "middle of the pack" runner in in middle school to a varsity runner on the 7th best team in the state.  She has worked tirelessly for this day and i am happy she earned it.

Zak Goddard returns to GHSXC next year as a senior leader and All-regional runner after finishing this year with a season and personal best 17:10 at MIS.  Zak wanted to crack that 17 minute barrier today but it looks like that waits for next season.  As a team leader and role model I couldn't ask for a better person that Zak.  I look forward to one last year with him in 2015.

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