XC Journal: Courtney Smith, Unionville - Entry #6 - November 10 - Matching the Dream Team


Unionville senior Courtney Smith entered her third year of XC with a resume that has been growing season-to-season. As a sophomore, she was 4th in AAA at Hershey. Then last year, she won her first state title, setting a meet and course record. In the winter, she broke the state record in the 3000 meter run, but had to settle for 2nd place. She more than made up for it by twice outsprinting the same competitor, first for 3rd place in the Girls 3000 Invitational at the Penn Relays, and then in the finals of the AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA State Championships. Smith led her team to a qualifying spot and trip to NXN after winning the Northeast Regional. But in the first 1000 meters in Portland, she fell and was spiked. She recovered for 10th. Then during indoor, and despite an injury, Smith captured 3rd in an incredible 3000 at PTFCA Indoor States, and anchored her DMR to a state title. Two weeks later, she anchored that DMR to a 6th place finish in the New Balance Nationals Indoor champs in a time ten seconds better than their state title... and anchored the 4xmile the next day to a 3rd place finish - both earning all-American recognition. But the injury endured. She went through PT, and returned to racing at the Henderson Invitational on May 2nd. Beyond happy to be back.


Outdoor Track:

Entry #10 5/5  |

Indoor Track

Entry #9 3/26

Cross Country: 
Entry #1 9/2  |  Entry #2 9/30  |  Entry #3 10/7  |  Entry #4 10/14  |  Entry #5 10/28  |  Entry #6 11/10  |  Entry #7 12/5  |  Entry #8 12/10


Courtney Smith
SR. Unionville HS, PA


Journal Entry #6 (November 10, 2013)
Living up to the U-Ville "Dream Team"


Hi PA!

I hope everyone had a nice week of rest if they are done for the season or nice week of training if they are continuing on! This is my first year where Cross Country States was not the end of my season and I am so happy to have my senior year's season be extended! We've never tried for NXN before and we are extremely excited! I'm so proud of how my team ran last week and it's just starting to sink in that we're the state champions!

I remember when I first joined Cross Country my sophomore year and Coach Lac told us stories about the 2004 Dream Team. They were the Unionville girls cross country team that won the state championship. For years the other Unionville girls and I have looked up to them. Many of them have kept in touch with Coach Lac and have reached out to us. Katie Thaeder was my hero and she even met up to run with me one time the summer before my sophomore year.

They've served as role models for us and they set the bar really high! I couldn't believe that a Unionville team had won the State Championship! At the time (2011), we were preseason ranked 46th in the state (yes, Coach Lac, I've saved every email you've ever sent us:)) and I was just impressed at the fact that we were ranked! The team really came together that season. We worked our way up to 2nd in the state and at every meet people came up to us and asked us who we were. After states that year, we all knew what our next goal was: win a state championship. Unfortunately, it ended up being two more years, but that just made it feel even more rewarding!

We left for states Friday morning after 1st period and stopped along the way for brunch before heading to Chocolate World. From Chocolate World we went to the course and bought t shirts. We started stretching for pre-meet when I felt a sharp pain and looked down to see a bee sticking into me. I stared at it for a minute before Olivia and I flicked it away because I was confused why it stuck! It hurt a lot and swelled, but at the same time it was kind of a nice distraction from my nerves during the pre-meet. We walked/ran the entire course since it was Kacie's, Elizabeth's and Jill's first time at Hershey and we wanted to make sure there were no surprises during the race.

From cheering on fellow runners and from being asked myself, I've always wondered if there was anything that one could tell to a runner during the race that would help them besides specifics like place and time. Well after hearing the same phrase many times throughout the states race, I definitely learned one phrase that helped so much: "your team looks great." Last year we were 9th as a team at the mile and then moved up to 2nd by the end. So this year it was a good sign when we crossed the mile in 2nd and the two mile tied for 1st. Obviously we didn't know those exact scores during the race, but the team was doing so well that the


 fans could tell just from watching! Knowing that everyone was running so well helped me push myself too because we all knew what the goal was and we wanted it so bad!

We had an awesome cheering group of Emily Fisher, Molly Wentz, Leah Talley, and Cami Rickenbach who made inspirational signs for us in the hotel the night before:).

For those of you who didn't see the finish, freshman Jillian Brislin epitomized the phrase "giving it all you've got." Not only was it her first varsity race in a big meet, but we asked her to go after Pennsbury's 6th girl. We knew Pennsbury is an amazing team and that the score was going to be really close, so if there was a tie, her place would make a huge difference. She ran really well and with about 500m to go was within a few seconds of Pennsbury's 6th girl. Although she collapsed on the straightaway, she got back up and finished the race and we are extremely proud of her effort!

Great job to everyone who ran in the meet last week and special congrats to all the state champions especially to Tessa Barrett who crushed her own course record and ran an unbelievably strong race!

Also, thanks to everyone that came to support us at States: our principal Mrs. Massanari, our superintendent Dr. Sanville, our coaches Coach Stanzuck, Coach Jeni, Coach Hess, Coach Lac, all our parents, and Kalyn McDonough (a member of the 2004 dream team).
Good luck to everyone continuing their seasons! Courtney