In 2 days student athletes and XC fans from across Missouri will converge on the Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City for the 2012 State Meet.
If I've learned anything in this my 4th year of covering the state meet for MoMileSplit it's that as Yael likes to say, the results of the races are determined by the athletes themselves and not by a computer, fans or pre race rankings. Like others I've made my predictions in the past and yes I have been wrong a time or two.
Therefore, The MoMileSplit State Preview is taking a different approach this year. I've assmebled a panel of experts to assist me. These experts have one thing in common. The are all former state cross country champions in Missouri. I figured they might have some words of wisdom for this years participants.
I asked each of them what advice would you give to someone 48 hours before the big race, here are there responses as well as footage of their post race interviews after the state meet.
Brandon Shemonia, Scott City, 2011 Class 2 State Champion
Run your race and absolutely do not change what you have done all year. The most important thing is to just go out and run and see what happens. Once the gun goes off, it's anyone's race.
Caleb Wilfong, Rock Bridge, 2011 Class 4 State Champion
Being relaxed is key. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, but understand the importance of the race. To me the zone we need to find in between these two variables is an optimal peak adrenaline level. I have found that in this mental state is where we race at our best psychologically.
Zach Herriott, Rockhurst, 2010 Class 4 State Champion
State isn't about going out there and having the best race of your life. You just need to go out there and do what you've done all season.
Daniel Everett, Westminster Christian, 2010 Class 3 State Champion
Enjoy the experience and trust your training. Running is supposed to be fun. If you take the fun out of it by being too worried about expectations, then you are missing the point. State is an awesome experience that should be enjoyed, not one that should be ruined by constant worrying. Also, know that you have put the work in. Remember all the countless miles and tough workouts you have put in and know that it will pay off. When the gets tough, look back on all you have done to get where you are and prepared for this meet.
Emma Burditt, Hannibal, 2010 Class 3 State Champion
Have fun!! Pray hard
Samantha Nightingale, Blue Springs South, 2010 & 2011 Class 4 State Champion
My advice would to just be confident in yourself, be confident in your training and have fun. Don't try anything new and just do your usual routine.
Emily Sisson, Parkway Central, 2008 & 2009 Class 4 State Champion
All you can ever do is give it your best. Stick to your normal routine, but then go out there and just run! High school cross country goes by so fast, so don't forget to enjoy it.
Caleb Hoover, College Heights Christian, 2009 & 2010 Class 1 State Champion
If you think you have a shot a winning the state meet, stay about 10 seconds behind the leaders that first mile. Yes, this will may put you farther back in the back than you would like, but the energy you will conserve will help you greatly once you finish the second mile and start to go up hill. You will still be hurting, but it will be far less than if you had tried to lead the race from the gun.