A couple things I haven't mentioned prior to this were weighing heavy on our minds as we approached this State Meet, and the opportunity for Payton to run in the State Meet as a Freshman.
- Payton has been nursing a borderline injury for the past 4ish weeks. She has had some pain in her right arch that comes and goes and seems to be a bit of tendinitis. Her coach has been well aware of this and we have all been working together to keep this from turning into a problem or get worse. The past couple weeks he had her really start to cut back her mileage and this has helped quite a bit. We were concerned all along that it would get bad enough that she would have to quit running just short of this great opportunity to run at State.
- This past Sunday Payton spent the day with her Sunday School class. This was a great time for all. Mid week we found out that most of the family at the house that she was at came down with the flu shortly after this get together. We know there is nobody at fault, and nothing that can be done in this circumstance, but we were on pins and needles the rest of the week hoping she wouldn't get sick right before state.
Both of these concerns turned out in our favor. Payton was able to run and didn't have any issue with the flu or her foot. We were quite relieved.
The weather was great... almost perfect. This was a big change from most of the rainy meets the XC team has had this season. It was in the mid 40's when we got there about 8:00 am and the sky was clear. The team had driven to Carrollton, GA the night before and they were there already when we arrived.
The boys 5A race was at 8:30, and the Girls 5A race was at 9:00. About 10 minutes prior to the race the team walked over to the starting line. They were all still dressed in their warmups, but nobody was suspicious, or at least they didn't say anything. Just a few moments before the race was to begin they finally removed their warmups to show that they were wearing a completely different uniform. This uniform was white top and black shorts, with a single "B" for Brookwood on the top. There were three main teams that were in contention for 1st place and our coach was trying a little strategy to throw the other teams off a bit. It made it difficult for us parents to follow them as we were used to their other uniforms :)
Payton ran an awesome race. She was upset at the end and said she didn't run as hard as she could have. She said she ate too much for breakfast and her stomach hurt the whole race. She ate at the hotel, which is not a problem, but she ate two small waffles, and a bagel. I just had to laugh, but also feel sorry for her..... these are all learning experiences I suppose. I am sure she was quite nervous and ate more because of the nerves.
You have to note that the State Course is in Carrollton, and they ran this course one time prior in the season. It is a hilly course and can be difficult. Payton held her previous PR of 20:59 at this course (yes... I said previous) This was probably because of all the wet and muddy meets they had to run this season.
Payton did great and set a huge PR! She crossed the finish line 56th out of 211 girls and set a new PR of 20:23! 56th out of 211 in the 5A State Championships..... as a Freshman! How Awesome!!!!
The Brookwood team did good as a team as well, they finished 3rd in State in the 5A State Championships. As the coach said - "This was the best season the Brookwood Girls program has had in several years."
Payton was a little down on the way home from Carrollton. She said with a down look on her face "so I won't be running cross country anymore?" She really loved to run and looked forward to her practice each day. She will be taking a couple weeks off and then we will start conditioning for Track.