From contributing writer Barbara Read:
When your legs get tired, run with your heart.
For many Michigan cross country teams, making it to the State Finals is the goal. The state of Michigan is a leader in distance running, and just reaching the state meet among Lower Peninsula peer schools demonstrates top level performance.
At the start of the 2018 season, Michigan’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 (LP D1) cross country cohort started with 594 teams (MI LP cross country school list). That group has been whittled down to top teams heading to the state meet. “For boys [cross country], the consensus is that Illinois, Michigan, and California have history of best elite runners, and [you could] argue that is true for depth as well. (comment, letsrun.com) And four of the top ten teams in the state hail from Washtenaw County along with close neighbors Brighton and Plymouth (MI LP cross country state rankings). Beating out competitors to make it to the state finals took intensity and hard work and is a high achievement.
But being invited to the finals is the penultimate goal of the Dreadnaughts. They want more. Dexter sits at number six in the state in Division 1, and is positioned to move up. The Dreadnaughts were only ten points off Skyline at Regionals in a finish so close it was not clear which team prevailed until the scores were posted. They will meet again in Brooklyn.
As the team heads to the state finals, Coach Drew Collette said of the season, “Lots of work and miles have gone in to not just getting you here, but doing well once you punched your ticket.” The boys’ goal is to break into the top 5 in the state after sending a single runner to states last year (Nathan Larson).
“Peaking” at the right time is critical for team success, and coaching drives the team to improve at a sustainable rate while pushing toward peak performances at Regionals and States. The Dreadnaughts have steadily improved their times all season and proved their mettle by beating the #1 Ranked Division 2 school Chelsea at the final SEC meet of the season. Poised to ratchet up their game one final time and finish the season among the top 5 D1 LP teams in the in the state of Michigan, the Dreads head to the Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 3..
Come cheer the team on in Brooklyn, MI. Admission is $8 and the race is at 2:10 p.m. A student bus has been provided by the district. It will be filled with team spectators first followed by fellow students until it is full. Adults will provide their own transportation to the Michigan International Speedway at 12626 US-12, Brooklyn, MI 49230.