ARCANUM – Marcy Bradshaw is running faster than she’s ever run before, which she actually attributes to an injury that prevented her from running.
During the track and field season this past spring Bradshaw had a stress fracture that forced her to halt her running routine. In order to keep training while she recovered from the injury, Bradshaw turned to cross training.
“I wasn’t able to run so I did a lot of biking and lifting, and that definitely benefited from it this year,” the Arcanum junior said. “My first race this year I was actually faster than where I ended last year. And that cross training, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without it.”
Strengthened by her new routine, Bradshaw broke Arcanum’s cross country record with a time of 19:39 at the Cross County Conference meet where she finished ninth overall.
Bradshaw’s new training regimen not only made her faster, it helped her qualify for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III girls state cross country meet. She’s the first Arcanum runner to accomplish that feat since Angie Cates did it in 2005, and she will race in the state meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
“Since freshman year it’s been a goal of mine,” Bradshaw said of making it to state. “It definitely has been something I’ve always wanted to achieve in high school.”
Bradshaw always is setting goals, Arcanum cross country coach Chris Kessler said. That has helped her to become such as strong runner and will serve her well on Saturday at the state meet.
“I think she’s going to do really well,” Kessler said. “That’s one thing about Marcy, every race she had a goal. Either I’m going to be in the top five, I’m going to take this many seconds off my race from last meet. She always had a goal going into a meet.”
Bradshaw was close to achieving her goal of making it to state as a sophomore. She qualified for the regional cross country meet but finished in 25th place to end her season.
This year she came back stronger than ever and fulfilled her dreams.
“I never actually saw myself being up there with Covington and (Twin Valley) South and this year definitely, definitely saw it,” Bradshaw said.
Even though she has more confidence in her abilities, Bradshaw still had to fight through a moment of doubt prior to the regional meet this year.
“Regionals she was really nervous, and she goes, ‘I need a pep talk,’” Kessler said. “I’m like, ‘No, you don’t! You’re here. You’re here where you’re supposed to be.’”
Having progressed so far and having achieved so many of her goals already, Bradshaw set her next goal of breaking her own school record when she races on Saturday. She’s ready for the big crowd at National Trail Raceway and is relishing this opportunity to run on the state’s biggest stage.
“I’m ready for it,” Bradshaw said. “I’ve been preparing for it since day one of cross country.”
Regardless of how she does at the state meet, Bradshaw is proud to have achieved her goal of making it this far and wants to enjoy the experience.
“I think it’s just smooth sailing now,” Kessler said. “She just wants to go have fun, experience it and hopefully work toward getting back there next year.”
Bradshaw already is thinking about making it back to state in cross country next year and making it to state in track for the first time this upcoming spring. And she’s already thinking about cross training and adding more swimming to her regimen.
“Most runners, they think they can run all the time, and it will help them,” Bradshaw said. “Yes, but it will do more harm than it will benefit you. I learned the hard way.”
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.