As the Running Camel pulled up to the Williamstown Invitational Saturday, the weather was a bit of a challenge to face getting off of the bus. The hilly course and cool, rainy, and windy morning made it tough to hit PR’s this week, but the Camels showed some mental toughness and fought hard. Varsity girls started off their race in a drizzle and 48 degree weather, but soon warmed up. Running short of a team, Vanessa Neiser and Allison Wendling ran well and attacked the hilly course with strong focus. As we near post season races, Vanessa has gained experience and shows confidence and improvement with every race, while Allison continues to improve her speed and mile consistency.
In the JV race, the rain stopped as the wind picked up, but our girls handled it well. In her first race post-injury, Allie Franzen left no doubt that she is ready to return by taking first place in the JV race with a time 23:34. She ran a smart race slowly working on the girl in front of her to take the lead at the 1.5 mile mark and never looked back. Maddy Little and Emma Kavalauskas also brought home some hardware as they finished 11th and 14th.
In the Varsity boys race, the Camels were looking for an elusive first place finish. It evaded us once again however; the Grant County Braves proved to be a force to be reckoned with as the Camels took 3rd as a team. We worked hard this week on hill strategy and it definitely paid off Saturday as the runners utilized their training. Leading the Camels this week was Shawn McGrath, finishing 8th overall with a time of 18:22, Bryan Howell attacked the hills and finished 13 seconds later in 14th place, Colton Conroy kept his focus and rolled through in 16th, with Alex Johnson in 19th. The top 5 was rounded out by Tony Schwarberg, who dropped his time on a tough course AND edged the 1-5 split to 1:30, down 30 seconds from our previous race. His hard work in practice is putting the pack into prime position. THAT is exactly what a tough pack looks like, and what it will take to qualify for state. Overall strong day for the Running Camels as we pull our races together and head into the most competitive part of our season.
Toni is the Cross Country and girls Track & Field coach.
Connect with Toni at firstname.lastname@example.org