Katie Dammer's final month of her high school cross country career was one of ups and downs. After some disappointment at the PIAA State Championships, the Abington Heights runner and Georgetown signee roared back to finish off her season on a very high note.
Dammer led the AAA race at the state meet in Hershey in the final mile, but ended up finishing fourth overall. After that, she came back to take fourth at NXR Northeast in New York, which qualified her for NXN in Portland. At NXN, Dammer ran an aggressive race and it paid off well with a 23rd place finish.
Dammer wrote about her experiences from the state meet and through NXN. Check out her latest blog post below.
While I'm on a bit of a break from running right now, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the end of my cross country season.
I was very grateful to have my team with me at states with me this year. Having experienced states as an individual as a freshman, I know that having the people you train with everyday there with you at the start line is much better. Even when you are disappointed with the outcome of a race, as I definitely was after states, having people there like your team, family, and coaches makes it a little easier. Finishing out my career with my fourth cross country state medal and with a higher finish than in past years is something I am proud of, even though I wish I could have brought an even better finish back for my school and my team.
I didn't take too much time making excuses or feeling sorry for myself before I put my nose back to the grindstone to start training for Nike Cross Regionals for three weeks. It was the perfect amount of time to prepare well for the race because I had a high mileage week, a workout-dense week, and then a taper week. I wanted to make sure I set myself up for a race that was a much better display of my fitness and competitiveness than states was. My coach did a great job of preparing me physically for the race and also helping me get out of the mental hole that I was in after states.
NXR went very well for me. I finished third in a great field to grab a spot at Nike Cross Nationals. I'm glad I proved that I am a stronger runner than my 4th place finish at states showed. I am so thankful that so many of my family members and teammates made the trip to cheer for me at Bowdoin Park, and I think it gave me a lot of momentum and motivation to run well.
Just four days later, I left for Portland! Nike planned a lot of fun and interesting activities for us, from touring the course and the athlete village at Glendoveer Golf Course the day before to hanging out with pro
athletes at Nike World Headquarters, but the weekend was still very race-focused. I enjoyed getting to know a lot of people, especially the other kids from the Northeast.
The race was a great learning experience. It poured rain during the entire girls' race, but what's NXN without a little mud??? I went out hard because I wanted to make sure I didn't get lost in the middle of the pack, and I am very happy with my 23rd place finish as the second individual from the Northeast in such a deep field.
I am taking some time off now to recover a bit mentally and physically from the long XC season. It's crazy to think about all of the miles I've put in over the past six months to prepare for these last few weeks. I am sad to see XC go, but I am so excited to see what I can do on the track this year. Hoping for health, fast times, and lots of fun to finish out my high school career in 2018!