Last year Russellville had a solid season winning a Class 2 district title and finishing in the top ten at the state championship as a team. This season they made the most of their home-field advantage to win the meet again. As the season comes to a close their ultimate goal is to finish the season on the podium. In the state championship, the goal is to bring home some wood. If you bring home the wood the team must finish in the top four to "trophy" or win an individual relay title to bring home a plaque. Both are great honors and coveted. Few teams ever get a chance at one of the top four trophies. Unlike other sports in track a state title often a program must be very talented across all 19 track and field events. Russellville has one of the best distance squads in class two. They will be well represented moving forward in the 800, 1600, 3200, 4x400, and 4x800.
Mo.milesplit: What is the most satisfying part of your big win?
Coach Lovelace: What I was satisfied with was that it was a total team win. We had some kids step up and get a few points here and there that we were not expecting. It wasn't just one or two guys getting all the points for us, it was a total team effort.
Was your win expected?
The win was not expected, we knew going in that it was going to be a tight battle with New Bloomfield and South Callaway. We knew that almost everything had to go our way to get the title and it just about did. We capitalized on some mistakes and did what we needed to do to get the win!
What has made your team special this season?
I would say the kids hard work and dedication to our program! They have done everything that we have asked of them all season and did it without question. From running them in different events to long grueling workouts. They have worked their tails off.
If you had to pick one highlight from the meet what would it have been?
We were behind in points going into the 3200, and we knew that we needed to win that event and finish no less than 1 place behind New Bloomfield in order to pull out the win, and that is exactly what the kids did! Anthony Bertucci won the 3200 and our 4x400 team ran a PR and finished 2nd behind New Bloomfield. That was probably the highlight of the day for us! Another highlight was that our Shot putter threw in the prelims and didn't think that he was in the finals and left. He did qualify and came back to throw in the finals and PR'ed and picked up another place, which gained us another point towards our team title.
What are your remaining goals moving forward?
Our sights are set on Sectionals next weekend. We are going to work hard this week and try our best to qualify out our Sectionals and make it to the State meet. Our ultimate goal that we set at the beginning of the year is to earn a plaque at the State meet.
How do you think things will line up for the state championship?
As for the state championship, we are hoping to get into the top four. If our kids run they way they are capable of running, I think they will be able to pull it off. I know there are some great teams in Class 2 that are going to be battling for the top spot, Monroe City & Cleveland NJROTC, but after that, it seems to be pretty open. I believe that we can pull out a top 4 at State!