Elk County Catholic senior Kennedy Weisner enters her final year of XC with a champion's resume. Her best year to date was last year as a junior when she won her first state cross country title - this one in the inaugural Class A Championship. Weisner also qualified for her first Foot Locker Nationals. During indoor, she was invited to her first Millrose Mile, and also to the Brooks PR meet, an elite gathering in the Northwest. She came back in outdoor to capture two state AA titles, winning the 800 and the 1600 - a very tough double. She began her final XC season at PTXC-5, setting a course record of 17:49.
Hello again everyone!
Two weekends ago I went to Paul Short to watch my sister, Kady, run in the college brown race. She does not have a very good history at this meet, and she tends to have issues in the heat. I was really happy that she was able to finish in one piece without any problems! Her team placed tenth, which was a big deal because historically they have not been a highly competitive team.
The past two years, however, they have started to place higher in meets than ever before!
It isn't often that I go to a meet solely to spectate, and I was able to really enjoy the atmosphere and also catch up with a lot of runner friends that I don't normally get to see these days. Prior to Kady's race, I was able to watch the college women's gold race, and all I can say is Abbey D'Agostino is amazing! I had only ever seen her on tv, and she was even more impressive in person.
This past weekend I ran at the Manhattan Invitational. It was not an option for my entire team to go this year, but Lauryn, Nicole, and all of our families made the trek up to the Bronx for the Eastern States race. My sister had fall break, so she came too! She actually races at Van Cortlandt in a couple of weeks for regionals.
Our race was not until 2:46, so we had lots of time to relax and buy t-shirts, which ended up being a difficult task because it was a madhouse at the t-shirt tent. It was a great day for running, even though the wind was a bit ridiculous at times. We all had dirt and leaf fragments blowing into our eyes before the race. Luckily, once the race started, either the wind stopped or I just didn't notice it anymore. The race started fast, especially the first four hundred meter sprint to the woods. I tried to pace myself, which is always difficult in that situation, but I was able to gradually work myself up to the lead pack as we entered the woods and the path narrowed. One girl took command of the race, and I slowly worked to cut into her lead as we traversed the hills.
Probably about half way through the race, when we had a little over a mile to go, I took the lead and started to really push the pace. After my finish at Foot Locker regionals last year, I kind of claimed the last mile on this course as "my" mile. No matter how I'm feeling at that point, I know I can always finish. As usual, the last stretch felt long, but I could hear my sister screaming for me almost the entire way. There are not too many people who can rival my mom in the yelling department (except maybe Coach G from Homer Center), but my sister was quite possibly yelling louder than my mom was. She sounded so much like my mom that it would have been funny if I wasn't so focused on running the last stretch. My mom had told me before the race that I better beat her to the finish line, which is an old joke between us. However, this is always a legitimate concern because she is quite fast. Luckily, I did beat her because she stayed behind to cheer on Lauryn.
Lauryn ran great, but she struggled a bit because she got a cramp during the race. Nicole ended up not being able to run, and she was upset because she loved the entire experience of Manhattan last year. It was hard for her to have to stand on the sidelines, but her health is much more important. She is only a junior, though, so she has next year to look forward to!
All three of our dads inadvertently coordinated their outfits, apparently in the spirit of the Penn State football game. On our way home, we stopped for dinner, and all of their eyes were glued to the football game on the television. Then, we had the pleasure of listening to it on the radio, and when we stopped in Bloomsburg for ice cream, our dads sat in Lauryn's parents' truck to listen to the rest of the game. Four overtimes later, they pulled out the win. When we were driving through Bloomsburg, there were five policemen sitting on horseback in the town square. At first, I thought it was fake, but it wasn't! The ride home was very long, but the opportunity to run in such a high caliber meet like Manhattan made it all worth it!
We had our last dual meet on Tuesday, which was also senior night for Maria and me (we don't have any senior boys on our team). My sister was supposed to be back at school by
Tuesday night, but she surprised me by staying for the meet. Afterwards, we had the traditional senior night dinner at the park, and it hit me how much I am going to miss my teammates next year! On the placemats for dinner, there is always a section entitled "What teammates say," and some of the things my teammates said were so nice it brought tears to my eyes. This is not a time for sadness, though, because the season is not over yet and we still have more races to run and memories to make!
Good luck to everyone heading into districts this week. The most exciting part of the season is only beginning!
P.S. I saw Angel Piccirillo's parents at Paul Short, and they put in a special request. Angel, if you are reading this, please call your parents. They miss you! :)