PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe junior Cole Good is entering his second Ohio High School Athletic Association state cross country meet feeling more confident and more prepared than last year.
“I’m super excited for another opportunity to compete with people at that level and just can’t wait to get back out there,” Good said. “Going into it with more experience and just knowing the course kind of sets me at ease a little bit more.”
As a sophomore, Good finished 50th in the Division III boys state cross country meet with a time of 16:48.7. This year he anticipates having an even better run.
“I think I’ve improved my times and places so I’m excited to see where I stand at this year,” he said.
Good’s personal-best time is a 16:43.90, a time he recorded three weeks ago during the Cross County Conference championships at Bethel. He finished as the runner-up in the conference championship behind only Arcanum junior Tanner Delk.
Entering the state meet, Good has his sights set on keeping pace with his fellow CCC runner.
“Hopefully stick with (Delk) and run well,” Good said. “That would be nice.”
Good’s strategy also includes getting out fast and keeping a steady pace.
“The competition was way harder and I had a lot more people to compete with so I had to step up my game a little bit,” Good said of last year’s state meet. “I know this year the competition is going to be hard.”
Franklin Monroe cross country coach Rick Ingold anticipates Good being able to continue to improve during the state meet.
“He’s got a lot left in the tank, and we’re starting to work that taper, and I think if all goes right he could be top 40, top 30, something like that,” Ingold said.
Since last year, Good has continued to physically mature, Ingold said, which has made him a stronger and better conditioned athlete and allowed him to make it back to the state championships.
“Obviously it’s exciting any time you get an athlete to the highest level they can compete at, the state level here, so we’re pretty excited about Cole’s achievements this year and what he’s done as far as his growth as an athlete and the hard work that he’s put in this year,” Ingold said.
Good will run in the Division III state championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
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.