SPRINGFIELD – Greenville sophomore runners Riley Emerick and Isabelle Rammel said the course they ran on Saturday at Buck Creek State Park in Springfield was tougher than it was the previous year, but neither of them let it ruin what has been a pretty strong season to this point.
In the boys race, Emerick placed 13th individually with a time of 16 minute, 59.1 seconds, just a few seconds off his PR (16:52) to help lead the boys teams to a 10th place finish out of 27 teams at the Jim Murray Memorial/Buck Creek Invitational.
“The course was different from last year’s course,” Emerick said. “The first and second mile were the same, but the third mile you went down by the lake and there weren’t as many hills last year.
“It was a slower course this year,” he continued. “It was kind of muddy too. It was a fun course, but I liked last year’s way better. Not many of us hit PRs today. I wish I would have done better, but I feel for all the hills and stuff it was a good race.”
There were 424 runners in the boys race, so to be 13th isn’t too bad despite running a slower time.
It was the same for Rammel, who placed 10th individually out of 225 runners. Her time was 20:08.1, well off her PR of 19:37, but she still felt good about her race.
“It was a tough course, but it was definitely a fun course today,” Rammel said. “Last year it was a little less hilly. We found out about the change when we got here, but we were all still hoping for good times and I think we did pretty well.
“I placed right around where I was hoping to be,” she continued. “There were some really good girls here today … like state runners, so it was definitely good competition. I like running against good competition. It makes me a lot faster.”
Rammel’s top-10 finish helped lead the Greenville girls to 12th place as a team with 345 points. There were 16 teams competing in the event.
“Riley and Isabelle both ran great today even with the course changes,” Greenville cross country coach Stephanie Lind said. “They made it a much tougher course today, but I think they both ran strong. In fact, we had several run really strong today for as hard as the course was. I am very pleased.
“They (Riley and Isabelle) were only a few seconds off their times from last week and it was a much more challenging course today,” she continued. “I think they are going to drop a lot of time when we hit GWOC on a flat course at Northmont in a couple of weeks.”
Also for the Greenville boys, Alex Subler placed 40th with a time of 17:54.2. He was followed by Matt Karns (18:33.5) in 66th place, Jacob Watson (18:47.8) in 84th place, Seth Shaffer (18:57.9) in 103rd place, Gabriel Stevens (19:50.9) in 160th place and Joey Thomas (20:15.9) in 193rd place.
After Rammel, the girls team had Lauren Dull finish in 99th place with a time of 24:03.9 followed by Kenzie Baker (26:09.4) in 149th place, Lani Shilt (27:39.0) in 177th place, Mollie McLear (29:42.0) in 201st place, Isabella Smith (31:17.5) in 209th place and Reagan Satterwhite (32:45.4) in 215th place.
Rammel made it to the regional tournament as a freshman and set a goal of making it to state this year. She said she was only about 10 spots out of being a state qualifier last year.
“I really want to make it to state this year,” Rammel said. “I wanted to break 20 minutes this year too and already did that, so now I just have to make it to state. I’m running a lot faster this year than at this time last year. Since I made it to regionals last year I know the course better and what to expect so hopefully state will be within reach this year. ”
Emerick’s goal is to make it to regionals this year. He came up short of getting out of the district meet as a freshman.
”I feel like I am doing pretty good for the season so far,” he said. “I want to get to regionals this year, but it just depends on how I do at districts. My PR as freshman was 17:47. This year it is 16:52.”
“We’ve had a good season so far,” Lind said. “The kids have worked hard. They had some big goals and last week several of them accomplished that goal, so they have had to re-evaluate and push even more than they thought they were going to this year.
“It’s been a good season,” she continued. “They’ve not been afraid to get out with the lead pack and it has made a difference. Now the season starts dropping miles and getting more speed work. I think we are well on our way.”
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.