HEBRON — As the Centerburg girls and Fredericktown girls and boys cross country teams were zeroing in on the state meet last week, hazardous course conditions forced the OHSAA to postpone the race a week, forcing runners and coaches to readjust their schedules to get their best times at the state meet.
“My first reaction was, ‘Oh no,’ because we were really ready to race,” Fredericktown coach Bob Geiger said. “They took it in stride — ‘Well, it’s another week, but the goals remain the same.’”
The Centerburg girls are coming off of a regional title two weeks ago. The Freddie boys notched second in the region and girls took third. According to Geiger, the goals of the team dictate how a team’s training schedule was impacted by the delay in the state race.
Geiger did change one practice this week. He said normally he does not take his team to the course to see the course when it opens before race day, but that is changing this week. The Freddies are set to see the course Thursday to try and break up the monotony of the last two weeks of practice.
A strength for both the Trojans and the Freddies is that both schools had at least one full team qualify. That provides more runners at practice to keep everyone motivated heading into the final race of the season.
“One of the benefits is we have both teams, so we still have 25 runners showing up to practice,” Geiger said. “It’s way better than just one or two showing up to run.”
Fredericktown’s girls, with four seniors on the squad, finished 10th at the state meet last year, while the Centerburg girls snagged 18th. With both of those teams aiming to improve on their marks from a year ago, the Fredericktown boys have their sights set high.
“The boys want to win. I would like to see them in the top 3 to 4,” Geiger said. “It will take a special day to win it, but our boys are ready.”
According to the National Weather Service, Saturday in Hebron is predicted to be mostly sunny, but with a high of only 38 degrees.
The Division III boys race kicks off action Saturday at the National Trails Raceway at 11 a.m., while the Division III girls race is slated for 1:30 p.m.