Herr, Carlson Finish Top Two at Middle School Cross Country Leagues
Two athletes from the middle school girls cross country teams took the top two finishes at the recent COMSAC Middle School League Championship cross country meet on October 27.
Addison Herr (grade 8, Bloomfield Hills Middle School-BHMS) finished first in a time of 12:36.7 and Olivia Carlson (grade 7, East Hills Middle School-EHMS) was a close second at 12:39.7. Both times were personal records for the girls on the 2 mile Cranbrook Kingswood course in a field of 110 runners.
Herr and Carlson said they were nervous going into the race. “I didn't know what to expect,” said Carlson. “I felt nervous, because the race had many more girls than I was used to, and I had only had a few meets beforehand. But, I also felt prepared because of the MHSAA State Regional I had attended the past weekend. It had even more girls and harder competition than the League meet. That gave me a little confidence and was able to share my knowledge about it with my teammates.”
During the race, Herr was focused on the finish. “As I was running I was thinking about what would happen when I finished. Also, I was thinking about how people were going to react.” Carlson was concentrating on staying close to Herr. “I was thinking about the girl in front of me, how long was the distance between us, and how much energy would it take to pass her.”
Both agreed the course was pretty and the weather was beautiful for race day. Carlson also noted some challenging aspects of the race route. “There was a secluded woody area on the course where lots of exposed roots were,” said Carlson. “They both slowed my pace and distracted me briefly. Other than that, the course was one of the best courses I’ve ever ran on.”
In the end, Herr took the top place. “I am proud of myself for setting my personal record at this meet,” said Herr. “This was a new experience for me as an athlete and it taught me to try new things and work hard to obtain my goals.”
According to BHMS Cross Country Coach Frank DiVito, Herr and BHMS teammate Caroline Reynolds (grade 8) have pushed each other all season, finishing first and second in their dual meets. “Their performance was fantastic,” said DiVito, “especially based on the competition. They peaked at the right time as they got better each meet and saved the best for last. Both are fierce competitors who bring out the best in each other.”
Carlson was excited to both medal and set a public record in their first season ever. “I was ecstatic that my finish would help my team, and I was proud about being runner up,” said Carlson. “The Bloomfield Hills girl in front of me is a phenomenal runner and she worked really hard. When the cross country season started, I had close to no idea what I was doing. I had never even seen a cross country meet when I ran my first one! But I had a great time and it was a wonderful experience, and I’m so thankful for my coaches and friends being there for me along the way.”
The EHMS girls team finished third overall and the BHMS team finished 6th overall in a field of 15 middle school teams. Reynolds also finished strong at 13th in 13:30.7 and took home a medal.
On the boys' side, East Hills brothers Ryan and Colin Hunt took top 10 finishes at the COMSAC Middle School Boys League Meet and went home with medals. Ryan Hunt (grade 8) finished 8th at 12:02.4 and Colin Hunt (grade 6) was just steps behind at 10th with a 12:04.0 finish out of 108 runners. The EHMS Boys Cross Country Team placed fifth out of 15 middle school teams.