The Manheim Township ladies dominated District 3 last fall. The girls were undefeated in dual meets and claimed the AAA team title at the district meet at Big Spring. However, at states, not everything went to plan.
In Hershey a week later, it was rough from the start for the MTXC ladies. The team was assigned to Box 4 at the far end of the start line. As soon as the gun went off, the girls found themselves in a poor position, getting pushed to the back of a crowded field. Trapped behind the herd, many of the ladies struggled to move up the rest of the race.
Despite PRs and great races, senior Kira Jenkins shared that she felt disappointed after her race at states. They were happy to get 10th as a team, but none of them felt like they raced their best.
"We really focused on districts last year," said senior Leah Sassaman. "It was a really hard race for everyone, so coming back the next week for states, everyone was still tired."
This year however, the MTXC ladies are determined to conquer the state course and feel good about their performance. This September, the team will head to Hershey to get a better feel for the hilly course at the PIAA Foundation Invitational meet. The Blue Streaks have been working hard since last fall and are prepared for whatever lies ahead of them this season. All summer, the varsity girls met and ran together. Senior Cassandra Wilk also noted the girls attend a summer cross country camp to continue to work together as a team.
Although the girls are focused on improving as a team, this season is about more than just places and times. Four of the top five ladies are now seniors. Many of the seniors have been running with each other since 7th grade. They are a close group and want to finish their time together with a bang. As Kira Jenkins put it, "This is the year!"
With their top 5 returning from last year, the team is likely to repeat the success they had last cross season.
PennTrackXC caught up with three MTXC seniors---Jenkins, Sassaman, and Wilk---along with rising sophomore Ava Pasewicz after their first day of official practice. Check out the video interview above.