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Coffey leads MC girls XC to strong performance in rainy weather

Courtesy of Neil Breneman
It was a cold and wet day on Saturday, October 14 at Big Springs High School as the Mifflin County Cross Country girls competed in the Mid Penn Championships. These are the kind of races where you find out the “grit” our team members  have. You go on the course walk before the race and end soaking wet and then with around a little longer until race time. It’s tough, but they were up to the challenge. The Big Spring course is not an easy course to begin with and then you throw in rain and mud and now it’s even more challenging. At least one of our top runners went down during the race but bounced back up and kept running. I am proud of the tenacity they showed.

Amilia Coffey was the first to cross the finish line for the team placing 68th out of a race with 180 competitors. I think Amilia got caught in some of the traffic in the beginning and so her 1st mile wasn’t quite where would have liked to be. She continued fighting and after that mile things started to open up and make it easier to pass others, which she certainly did. At the 1 mile she was 86th so she passed 18 runners before the finish, a great accomplishment against a lot of good runners.

Perhaps the biggest move on the day, however, was freshman Kahlen McCracken who ran fast 1st and 2nd miles and placed second for Mifflin County. She finished 113th in the race and was the 21st freshman to cross the line. She knocked more than a minute off her previous personal record. Kahlen has been confident in practice and working really hard. On Friday during our pre-meet run, I had to make her stop and slow down. I wanted to be sure her legs were fresh and “restless” to run fast for the race. She went out strong and went for it! If we can get her to hold on stronger for the last mile she will soon be eliminating another minute from her best. 

Ava Kratzer finished close to Kahlen as the team’s third runner and was then followed up by the remainder of the team that all finished within a minute of each other. I liked to see how tightly they finished and want them to realize that as a young team, if they can stick with it, work hard, and improve their times together, they will become a competitive force as a team in the upcoming years.

This week will be the last home game on Thursday, October 19 at Indian Valley Elementary Center in Reedsville. It is also senior night and their pink out game to promote breast cancer awareness.

Scoring for the Lady Huskies:

Amila Coffey- 22:05

Kahlen McCracken- 23:52

Ava Kratzer- 24:07

Caroline Palopoli- 24:55

Mary Kanagy- 25:35

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