HEBRON – Joe Spitzer didn’t do quite as well as he had hoped at the state cross country meet, but given the circumstances he was pleased with his performance.
Spitzer finished 37th in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II boys state cross country meet Saturday afternoon at National Trail Raceway in Hebron with a time of 16:34.7.
“Not quite as well as I was hoping,” the Versailles sophomore said. “The course was pretty muddy. Plus it was my first time at state. This is all new to me. I think it went pretty well given the circumstances.”
The state meet was similar to what he expected, Spitzer said, but racing against the top runners in the state still was a very tough challenge.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” he said. “Thousands and thousands of people here cheering for us. It gets pretty intense.”
In the state meet Spitzer used a strategy that worked for him at regionals, pacing himself early and picking up speed as he went on. He was 62nd out of 147 runners at the end of the first mile, 40th at the end of the second mile and moved up to 37th by the end of the race.
“I think I went out a little too slow this time,” Spitzer said. “But with practice I’ll be able to refine that.”
Being just a sophomore, Spitzer is confident that he’ll be able to improve with more practice. He looks forward to the opportunity to possibly return to the state meet as a junior and senior and do even better.
“That’s my goal, improve my finish at state, hopefully get a new PR,” Spitzer said. “I’ll have two years to do that.”
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.