ARCANUM – Entering the final cross country meet of her high school career Arcanum senior Marcy Bradshaw hopes to finish with the best race of her life.
Bradshaw has qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III girls state cross country meet for a second consecutive year. Her final race will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
“It’s heartbreaking that it’s my senior year,” Bradshaw said. “I wish it was my sophomore or freshman year to where I just had another two or three more years.”
A year ago Bradshaw finished in the middle of the pack of the Division III state meet, placing 77th with a time of 20:38.4. Having the experience of competing at state has Bradshaw feeling better prepared for this year’s race.
“I will definitely be more prepared for it, having the mental state to go and get after it and knowing that I earned it,” she said. “I’ll definitely have a different outlook of it.”
As a senior Bradshaw earned her second consecutive trip to Hebron by finishing eighth in the Division III girls regional meet on Saturday in Troy, finishing the race in a time of 20:24.66. It was warm at Saturday’s regional meet, a high of 78 degrees compared to last year’s 56, which tested Bradshaw.
“It wasn’t anything like last year,” the Arcanum senior said. “With the weather conditions it was definitely harder. It was definitely a hard race. I know that if I didn’t want it bad enough I wouldn’t have qualified.”
Saturday’s forecast is calling for high temperatures in the low 60s, which should be more beneficial to Bradshaw.
“It’s supposed to be nice weather, and that’s a plus though she is a cold weather runner,” Arcanum cross country coach Chris Kessler said. “She would have rather had the 50s.”
Whatever weather conditions she faces, Bradshaw wants to finish her high school cross country career on a high note. Her goal for the state meet is to break her personal-best record of 19:39.
“She works very, very hard, and she’s very goal-oriented,” Kessler said. “She just had her mind set from the beginning of the school year. She just focused there and just took one meet at a time and peaked when she needed to peak at conference.”
With the experience from last year Bradshaw feels well prepared to run a strong race at this year’s state meet.
“You just can’t show up there and expect it to be like a normal meet,” she said. “It’s not a normal meet. It’s the state meet. Girls are going to go there and get after it, and you have to do the same if you want to do well.”
Regardless of how she does on Saturday, Bradshaw already has created a great legacy at Arcanum.
“She’s a great role model,” Kessler said. “The kids look up to her. They strive to be like Marcy.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.