It’s easy to recall those younger years when mom and dad made sharing with siblings a must. Whether it was your fruit chews, an electronic game or some other special piece of property of which you felt you had the sole rights to, you never really wanted to share, but you went along with the program anyway.
While it is the right thing to do, sometimes it makes you feel good, sometimes…not so much.
Just ask West Holmes girls cross country coach Kevin Beachy.
The Lady Knights were bent on grabbing one of the four top spots in the Div. II East District cross country meet at Cambridge High School on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The numbers were right to do so. The carrot of taking one of the top four spots and advancing to the Regional meet was right there.
But when the dust had settled, West Holmes was left on the outside looking in, finishing fifth behind fourth place Indian Valley by a mere four points.
And what really hurt was that freshman Hannah Schlegel was absent because she was with the Lady Knights soccer team, who was taking on a formidable foe of its own in Tri-Valley.
That made for one less top runner, and that absence may well have been what kept West Holmes from procuring not just fourth place, but even better.
“If Hannah is there we win the thing,” said Beachy. “The race was ridiculously close this year. There were eight or nine coaches standing around the scorer’s tent waiting on the results, it was that close. Morgan was the one team that I don’t think anyone saw placing in the top four, but their kids ran a great race. We have been competitive with Indian Valley all year, but we haven’t beaten them. We knew Cambridge and St. Clairesville would be there.
Cambridge won the event with 108 point total, St. Clairesville was next at 118 and Morgan came in with a 121, Indian Valley grabbed the elusive fourth place spot with 124 and the Lady Knights pulled up in fifth at 128. West Muskingum, Maysville and River View were also left just on the outside looking in.
Another factor in the fifth place finish was Miranda Hostettler, who suffered a cramp mid way through the race and wasn’t able to present any kind of kick down the stretch. That factored in as well, Hostettler finishing well off the pace she had hoped for.
“If Miranda doesn’t cramp up she only needs to beat five people for us to move on, which she would have easily,” said Beachy. “That, too, is all it would have taken, but that is part of running. It is disappointing to know that we could have gotten out as a team, but we still had a pretty successful race,” said Beachy.
Even with the disappointment of the narrow miss, West Holmes had plenty to celebrate.
West Holmes sent three of its runners into the Regional competition With the top 16 runners advancing as individuals, Emily Molnar (second), Alexis Eliot (12th) and Alexis Kandel (16th) all made it through to compete at Regionals.
Molnar finished third in a time of 19:32, 21 seconds better than her time in last year’s meet on the same Cambridge course, which was reconfigured this year, but ran the same basic route.
Eliot found sweet retribution after last year’s race. Her time of 20:40 moved her along to Regionals easily. Last year Eliot was ill, but still went out and ran as best she could, but only mustered a time of 24:51.
The drop of 4:11 is insane. The illness obviously had something to do with that time, but much of it must also be credited to Eliot’s improvement from a year ago.
“Alexis was looking forward to this race for a longtime,” said Beachy. “And I think that she is really ready to hit a big one at regionals.”
As for Kandel, the joy of bursting over the finish line in the 16th and final qualifying spot was sweet relief, although she wasn’t exactly sure where she was in the pecking order.
Her time of 21:08 was six seconds ahead of 17th place finisher Moriah Carson of John Glenn, and marked a 1:26 improvement over last year’s time.
Beachy said that Kandel knew exactly where she stood heading toward home, and she was able to fend off all challengers to secure that final spot.
“What a thrill. It is nice having Emily and both Alexis’ get out,” said Beachy. “And what is exciting is that I don’t think any of them ran their best race. They were all three disappointed not to get out as a team, but having three go is almost like having a team go.
Carie Fair ran a strong race, finishing 38th at 22:36, while Hostettler (59th at 24:09) and Carli Roach (61st at 24:26) rounded out the Lady Knights scoring.
“Carie really ran a great race,” said Beachy. “She ran a 45 second PR, which is fantastic. I told her she needed to be in the mid to high 30 and run something in the 22s. She was right on the mark.
Molnar simply went out and did what she has one all year for West Holmes, running with the lead pack, cruising home for yet another top five finish.
Ho hum. Much like a golfer who simply keeps hitting everything right down the middle. Nothing flashy, just get the job done.
“That’s Emily,” said Beachy of his junior star runner. “She is just so consistent, and again, she didn’t feel like she ran her best. We have a lot to look forward to at the Pickerington Regional.
The three girls will do their best in representing their school at Regionals. The team as a whole will have to stew on what might have been if not for a cramp and having to share