Success a breeze for BLHS runners
Things are starting to come a little easier for junior Megan Tush and her cross country teammates. Last Thursday at the Lansing Invitational, Tush had her highest varsity finish of the season, ninth, and the lady Bobcats had their most impressive showing of the season.
Tush was joined as a medalist by Caren Chellgren (12th, 13:48), Amanda Vitt (20th, 14:01) and Emily Lackner (21st, 14:02). Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they did not finish enough runners to accumulate a team score. But coach Jeff Venema was impressed with his girls who did finish.
"I am very pleased with the times that we ran; they show marked improvement over what the same girls ran at the same course from the year or years before," Venema said.
Tush finished with a time of 13:34, five seconds faster than her time the previous week at Tonganoxie and well over a minute faster than her time last season at Lansing. Despite the tougher course at Lansing, which featured more hills than the Tonganoxie course, Tush was still able to improve her time.
"It's so much easier with the training I have under me now," Tush said. "I felt a lot smoother. I never really got to a point where I was really winded."
Tush is usually beyond winded. Tush has said that after races she usually has nothing left. However, she acknowledges the extra training has made a major difference to her strength and stamina. Venema appreciates the extra work Tush has put in.
"Megan is very focused on achieving the goals that she has set for herself," Venema said. "She's willing to work overtime to make it happen."
On the boy's side at Lansing, Venema's top two runners both turned in courageous performances. Sophomore Alex Vitt and senior Dustin Sullivan both battled injuries but still had their best times of the season.
Sullivan ran with a hurt toe and finished 39th (19:41), and Vitt, who was running on a bum ankle finished 40th (19:48). Neither runner medaled, however, Venema said their times would have been good enough to medal at Lansing last year.
"I was proud of their efforts, especially since both were injured and ran through their pain," Venema said.
Venema said before the season is done, both Vitt and Sullivan have a good chance to medal at least once.
Both runners will try to get their first medals today when the boys and girls run at the Pleasant Ridge Invitational.