Photo by Morgan Browning
“Ladies, listen up. When we say every point counts, we really do mean it. You all were fourth today, by one point,” cross country coach Tricia Beaham said.
*Cue the uncontrollable tears*
If any one of us could’ve passed one more girl, or if any one of us could’ve not let one more girl pass us, we would’ve made it to state. One point. One point between us and third place.
Stage one: shock. Honestly, it took me about a day to register the fact that we didn’t make it. Sure, as soon as our coach said we weren’t going to state I cried. I sobbed on and off for an hour, but I didn’t feel too hurt– I was still in disbelief that we actually didn’t make it.
Our whole team had been working towards state since the beginning of June. We woke up at 6:30 a.m. five days a week for state. We ran countless sprints around St. Ann, pushed ourselves up Fontana hills and put in long seven mile runs all for our goal of state. Whenever we were in the midst of a hard workout, we just told ourselves “state,” to keep us going. Having to face the fact that all that hard work was thrown away felt awful. How did all that hard work not completely pay off?
Stage two: acceptance. The worst stage there is. As the afternoon dragged on, I spent more time dwelling on how we didn’t make it. But the next day, when I was home was by 3 and had homework done by 5 p.m. is when reality actually hit me.
The cross country season was officially over. There would be no more chocolate milk Mondays, no more popsicle Wednesdays (and Tuesdays and Thursdays), no more boar runs, no more St. Ann loops and no state. Accepting the fact that we didn’t make state is what stung the most.
Knowing that we could’ve made it to state made it an even harder pill to swallow. Just one week before at League, we placed third out of the other teams in our region. We were all completely capable of running our best race; it just wasn’t our day.
Stage three: motivation. Despite the unfortunate outcome, I’m proud of our team. A year ago, we had no chance of running at state. But here we are, one year later and we come up one point shy of state. Yeah, that one point will haunt me for awhile, but that one point also shows how much confidence we should have in our team for next year. This loss will only encourage us to work harder throughout the year and want to come out on top next year. Olathe Northwest better watch out…