On a cold and frigid morning in Hebron, Ohio near Columbus, the two qualifiers for the state cross country races, Matthew Harris of Minford and Aiden Kammler of Portsmouth, competed in the respective fields in an experience neither will likely soon forget. In both runners first appearance at the state cross country meet, Harris finished in 110th place out of 181 runners with a time of 18:11.1 in the Division III boys’ race, and Kammler finished 71st among 178 runners with a time of 17:37.5 in the Division II boys’ race.
“I wasn’t really happy with my performance to end my career” said Harris when discussing his trip to Hebron on Saturday, “But I was really happy to be able to end my career at that meet.”
“It was awesome” said Kammler, “The atmosphere was really incredible for that race.”
The state competitions were originally scheduled to occur a week prior on Saturday, November 3rd, but due to the flooding conditions on the course at Hebron, the OHSAA was forced to postpone the races to the following Saturday, the 10th.
In a press release on November 1st, OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass released this statement, “While I wholeheartedly understand the impact this move has for all those involved in the event, this is the best solution for the safety and well-being of our participating student-athletes. National Trail Raceway has closed the course due to flooding with the on-going rain we have had in central Ohio, so the conditions will hopefully be much better by next weekend.”
For Harris and Kammler, the week long delay threw a bit of a wrench into their preparation process.
“It was pretty weird” said Kammler, “I was doing a certain taper (workout) that was specific to the state meet. So when they announced the postponement, I had to stop it and restart it the next week.”
“I decided to do the same things I had done the week before” said Harris, “It was kind of odd to have to do, especially when you’re trying to focus on when you peak, because you’re gradually decreasing the intensity of your workouts throughout the week leading up to the main race.”
For both of Scioto County’s qualifiers for the state competitions, there are plenty of thanks to go around for helping them improve as runners along the way.
“I’d like to thank my parents” said Harris, “My friends for believing in me and trusting my abilities as a runner. My track coach for staying confident in me and pushing me to focus on myself and what I can do as a runner.”
“I’d like to thank my parents, and my brothers” said Kammler, “My coach was a big influence on me, and my teammates as well.”
Both Harris and Kammler hope to be able to run in college after their graduation in the spring.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT