Junior runs down goal in second go-around
Last Saturday, junior Megan Tush was the lone Bobcat to compete at the state cross country meet in Wamego.
Tush placed 54th out of 101 runners.
Tush improved dramatically from her first go around at state her freshman season, when she placed 85th.
Her time of 13:40 on Saturday was 28 seconds better than the time she ran as a freshman. She eclipsed her goal of 13:45 in the race; however, in looking back the junior said she felt like she left too much in her tank.
"I died on the second hill and I didn't really start taking it up until the last 400 and that's when I passed like six people," Tush said. "And I realized I had a lot more left than I thought I did."
Tush was more in her comfort zone on Saturday and knew what to expect this time around. She said since she knew the course, the hills were not quite as overwhelming and the course seemed easier than it did two seasons ago.
While running, Tush received some extra motivation and confidence during the race when she saw her competitors struggling.
"I remember when I was running and someone right behind me told their coach she wasn't' going to make it, she was going to pass out and that really gave me the edge and pushed me," Tush said. "When another one started walking up a hill, that boosted my confidence and made me go faster."
Saturday completed a whirlwind season for Tush.
She started the season with a scare when she nearly passed out from the heat during practice one day and was forced to miss two weeks before doctors cleared her to run again.
When Tush returned to practice, sophomore Caren Chellgren had overtaken her as the team's top runner and Tush spent much of the season trying to reclaim the top spot on the squad. Tush eventually regained her position as team leader through extra running and individual work after practice.
Although intense, Tush said the obstacles she faced this season made her a better runner.
"This season went a lot better than I expected," she said. "If I hadn't had to take time off and if Caren hadn't gotten better than me, I don't think would have worked as hard as I did."
Tush hopes to return to state next year with her teammates.
The Lady Bobcats return their entire roster next season and are expected to compete for a ticket to state.
If the team truly hopes to get there, Tush knows it is going to take the same kind of effort she put forth after her early-season setback for all the Bobcats to make the trip to Wamego in 2006.
"It'd be nice to take our whole team to state," Tush said. "But it's going to take everyone working hard and not just a couple people. I know Amanda Vitt is pretty determined to go to state."