ELKHART – As the final team standings were being read off at Saturday’s cross country regional at Ox Bow County Park, Wawasee junior runner Bre Robinson stood with her team with a look of concern on her face not knowing the fate of her team at Saturday’s cross country regional at Ox Bow County Park.
Only the top five teams in the talented field of 10 would advance to next week’s semi-state meet. Robinson’s look of concern would quickly turn overwhelmed with elation as her team found out it had finished not only in the top five, but third overall with a score of 113.
“This is just so exciting,” said an overjoyed Robinson. “Last year this was our goal and when we didn’t advance we were extremely sad. This year we added a lot of freshman who are very fast and we all wanted to make it out this year so to come out and make it to semi-state is just a great feeling.”
Robinson, who advanced to semi-state as an individual last year, finished in the top 15 at regional again this year with a time of 20:11, which was the top time for the Warriors as well. Robinson hopes she can use her experience at semi-state last season to help her young team this year.
“The biggest thing I can offer to my team is to not let anything get to you,” Robinson started. “We ran this course three straight times and now to have to go run fast on another course can be scary. Really it is more mentally tough than anything else.”
For the second week in a row Wawasee received a huge boost from Delanie Bame. The freshman finished second for Wawasee and in the number 22 spot overall. Bame finished with a time of 20:29, shaving over a minute off of her sectional time of 21:30. Wawasee head coach Doug Slabaugh was impressed with the time from Bame.
“We needed somebody to step up today and Delanie did that for us,” said Slabaugh when speaking of Bame. “That was a personal record by Delanie today. Our six and seven runners Elizabeth (Zorn) and Bailey (Schroeder) also had P.R.’s today and that’s huge for the team.”
Wawasee’s other two freshmen Bridgette Yoder and Molly Swartz kept up the strong reputation of the class of 2017 by placing in the top five of Wawasee’s scores. Yoder finished with a 20:54. Swartz rolled in right after her teammate at 20:58, improving on her sectional time of 21:11.
Junior Courtney Linnemeier fell slightly off of her sectional pace to clock a 21:29 but her finish was huge as she finished just seconds before Concord’s Mackenzie Porter (21:35). Wawasee only edged out Concord by five points, 113-118 to claim the third place finish.
“Just like in the boys’ race, the girls really competed and left it all out on the course,” stated Slabaugh. “The boys’ and girls’ races really came down to the same aspect today and that was finishing.”
The Warriors will continue their journey next Saturday at the New Haven semi-state held at IPFW starting at approximately 1 p.m.
Final Team Standings (Top five advance to semi-state.)
1. Penn 24
2. Northridge 53
3. WAWASEE 113
4. Concord 118
5. Mishawaka 124
6. Goshen 174
7. Elkhart Memorial 197
8. South Bend St. Joe 202
9. South Bend Adams 204
10. South Bend Riley 214