HEBRON — Washington High School senior Maddy Garrison was once again among the elite distance runners in the state of Ohio as she competed in the Division II State cross country tournament Saturday, Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.
The day dawned very foggy and chilly. It was not nearly as cold, however, as the previous Saturday at the Pickerington Regional.
The sun was beginning to break through the fog by the time of the Division II race, which was the second of six championship races at the central Ohio drag strip, commencing at 11:45 a.m.
Garrison placed 53rd in a field of Ohio’s 179 best Division II runners with a time of 19:41.1.
“She didn’t run the time that she hoped,” Washington head coach Ryan Day said. “Maddy’s had an amazing (cross country) career. We were hoping to break 19 minutes. She ran a 19:19 up here last year.
“When I talked to her, she said she felt really tight,” Day said. “Regardless of that, we’re very proud of her. It’s been an amazing career.
“I saw her at about the half-mile, just before the mile, the two mile and the finish,” Day said. “That’s not as much as I’d like to see her. There’s a whole stretch, almost the last mile. They don’t let any coaches or spectators back there. At this point, the coaching is mostly over; it’s just a matter of putting everything together.”
“I wasn’t like, super-nervous,” Garrison said. “I had goals, so, my nerves were spiked a little more than usual. I wanted to break 19 (minutes). I didn’t reach that goal. I guess that just pushes me to do better in track this season and set more goals for myself so I can achieve them.
“I want to thank all my friends and family for coming up here today,” Garrison said. “My coaches, they are the biggest people who support me through this whole thing. They’re with me, going through the workouts with me.
“Coach Day and Coach (Louis) Reid, I thank them for staying with me through this ride,” Garrison said. “Giving me all the support and love. My family, for making trips every weekend. It’s really nice to have all of them with me. It gives me a lot of confidence.
“Last year, I came out a little bit too fast,” Garrison said. “Today, I thought I got out fine. My biggest problem in this race was getting packed in. There are so many girls that are the same level as you, it’s kind of hard to find your way to the front of the pack. So, you get stuck in the middle sometimes.”
Garrison was actually much better than the middle of the field.
Placing 53rd out of 179 puts Garrison in the top 30 percent of finishers in Division II.
Garrison was 34th after the first mile and 53rd after the second mile.
The top 20 are considered All-Ohio.
Annie Zimmer of Chagrin Falls won the State Division II race with a time of 18:13.5.
District and Regional champions Fairfield Union, placed second at State with 147 placement points.
Lexington won the State championship with 137 placement points.
In the boys’ Division II event, Unioto was 10th out of 20 teams.
In the boys’ Division III event, Leesburg Fairfield placed fourth out of 20 teams with 158 placement points.
Fairfield’s Noah Richmond was 11th out of 183 runners with a time of 16:16.9.
Garrison plans to play basketball for the Lady Lions this winter and run indoor track and then, in the spring, she will be a leading member of the Lady Lions’ track team.