2A State Cross Country Championships - 11/07/15

The weeks approaching the 2016 State Cross Country Meet I anticipated running in the awful Texas heat. My freshman and sophomore year I had the first race and I ran in comfortable 50-60 degree weather. It’s safe to say that I was dreading the heat. The morning of my cross country meet I woke up to a gentle rain but, the forecast said it would clear up and like the race at Regionals it would become fiercely hot. Thankfully though when I got out of the van with the boys Cross Country team it was cold (and I didn’t have enough jackets). As we walked about half a mile to the starting and finish lines, I saw parts of the boys 5K course and saw that there were parts with water knee deep and soupy mud. I could only hope that most of the girls 2 mile race wouldn’t be like that; my hopes were false.

As soon as I approached the starting line I knew this would be an…interesting race. Girls were coming out of the finish line covered in mud and just the hill going up to the starting line was covered in soupy mud. I began to warm up (after figuring out which box I was in by counting because the numbers were also covered in mud) and I tried to stay out of the mud. I soon decided this was pointless and didn’t worry about it anymore. Even though the mud discouraged me I still wanted, at the very least, to finish in the Top 15 and achieve all state.

As an individual runner I had to be packed in a box along with 5 or 6 other girls and in my last run out I lost my spot in the front row and was pushed to the back. (I felt bad for the freshman girl next to me, she couldn’t have been more than 5 feet tall.) The gun when off and I began the race, after jumping over a girl in front of me that fell and slipped in the mud. In the first 200 meters there was a lot of jumping and dodging as I tried to get up with the front pack but, I did not fall much to my amazement. For the first mile I held a place in the Top 10. I felt good and I remember one of the boys’ mom’s yelling at me to ‘keep your pace, you’re in 9th place!’ As I ran up the next hill I could feel myself starting to lose gas but, I did my best to push it out of my mind. My biggest mistake happened on the levees. The levees should have been the easiest part to run on, it wasn’t muddy but, gravely but, I let myself slow down. After I got off the levees I realized I had about half a mile to go and I needed to haul it if I wanted to get in the Top 15. I picked up speed and passed some girls but, I slowly began to lose more and more energy and I didn’t kick it in the last stretch like I should have. I fell to my knees (in the soupy mud) in exhaustion and I had to stumble my way to where my parents waited. I finished the race in about a 14:17.49 and I got 22nd place. Most everyone’s times were off by up to 2 minutes. I did not reach my goal but, I will next year and hopefully I won’t be finishing the race covered in mud up to my thighs.

Also, afterwards my dad made me dive in the mud and that is something I will never do again. It was much too cold and I had to wash off in the cold lake. Plus mud is really hard to get out of your hair and from behind your ears even.