HEBRON – Arcanum’s Marcy Bradshaw and Bradford’s Karmen Knepp both improved from last year at the 2016 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III girls state cross country meet.
Knepp finished 10th in the state championship meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron with a time of 18:44.2 while Bradshaw finished 66th in 20:00.1.
“I had no idea I was going to do that,” Knepp said. “I felt good, but I was so nervous at the beginning of this. I had no idea.
“I was worried about getting top 16. Getting top 10 … I just … I’m so surprised at myself.”
By finishing in the top 16, Knepp, who last year finished 35th in the state meet, earned a spot on the state podium. The Bradford sophomore cut almost a full minute off her time from a year ago.
“Really happy,” she said. “I’m really surprised at just everything. I didn’t think it would feel this good.”
Bradshaw improved 11 spots in the state meet standings, moving up from her 77th place finish in 2015 to 66th this year. The Arcanum senior cut more than 38 seconds off her time from last year.
“I was definitely more prepared than last year, even though I didn’t PR,” Bradshaw said. “I still ran really well. I ran really hard.”
It’s upsetting to end her high school cross country career, Bradshaw said, but she’s excited about what the future holds as there are four college programs recruiting her.
“It was a blessing, that’s for sure,” Bradshaw said of ending her high school cross country career at the state meet. “I loved it. All the girls, they qualified, they ran hard, I ran hard, everybody finished the season strong, including myself.”
Knepp also is excited about what the future holds for her.
“I’m hoping to make it to state for track now that I know I can accomplish more than just what I believe in myself,” she said. “I’m so excited for next year, too, and hopefully coming back with a team, with somebody to push me even more.”
Minster won the Division III girls state championship. Lima Central Catholic’s Emily Sreenan won the Division III girls race with a time of 18:01.8.
For complete results from the state cross country meet, visit the OHSAA website at ohsaa.org.
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.