Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Seniors medal together for first time

October 3, 2001

It's funny to think that as freshmen Jessica Kelley, Wendy Percifield and Jessica Robinett all wanted to quit cross country.

The reason it's funny, however, is not because it says something about their characters, rather because Basehor-Linwood High School's cross country team would be suffering without them.

"They're good leaders," BLHS coach Kelly Brungardt said. "The thing that stands out the most about them is that they have really made the team come together."

The three seniors have been running together since they were freshmen and last week, at the Lansing Invitational, they all medaled together for the first time.

"It was the first time we've all done it at the same meet," Robinett said. "And it was really a pretty neat feeling."

Not only did all three senior girls medal at the meet, they also set personal bests in their times, blowing away their old marks. Robinett finished in 21st place and medaled for the first time since the Tonganoxie Invitational where she finished 8th. Her time of 13:47 beat her old mark by more than 20 seconds and she said that winning a medal while setting a new personal best made the meet one she'll never forget.

Percifield led the way for the Bobcats as she finished ninth at Lansing and ran the two-mile race in 12:37. Percifield is the only Bobcat to medal at every meet this season.

Kelley finished in the 14th position at Lansing, eclipsing her previous best by more than 30 seconds, and it was the first time she won a medal this season something that was very important to her.

"I know one of the requirements for lettering is to medal in at least one meet," Kelley said. "So in the middle of the race I kind of thought maybe I should try to pick it up a little bit and medal right here."

She did and now she said she'll be able to relax and enjoy the final few meets of her high school career.

The end of the road is something that all three girls have been thinking about lately. With just two meets remaining before regionals, these seniors who have done nothing but run for the past four years stopped running recently for long enough to reflect on what cross country has meant to them.

"With cross country, you really become close friends with the people you run with," Robinett said. "It's a sport where you get non-stop support from your teammates and it's by far my favorite sport of the ones I do."

Kelley agreed that running cross country with each other has brought the three closer together, but she said that she's noticed it more in the sense that they are always trying to make each other better.

"A lot of times during practice over the past few years we've tried to push each other and have really tried to make each other the best we can be," Kelley said. "Our first practice, we thought we could never finish because it was so hard and now it's gotten to be so easy for us. It's been a lot of fun."

The girls will get one more crack at improving their times even more on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Pleasant Ridge Invitational. The following week the Bobcats will host the Kaw Valley League Tournament at St. Mary's College where the Lansing meet was ran.

"Hopefully, we'll go out there and beat our best times again at league," Percifield said.

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