16 November 2010

Girls Cross Country: Young and Improving

Maricia Pacheco
MVP, All-Missota Conference honorable mention

It doesn't take a person with 20-20 vision to tell the Tiger future looks bright. One need only look at the varsity lineup coach Heidi Revels fielded for most meets this fall.
After a season-ending injury to senior Nicole Clifton in the early going, Farmington went with a lineup entirely made up of underclassmen. Its top runners were a junior and a freshman and two eighth-graders were lineup regulars.
Yet even with a young and mostly inexperienced lineup the Tigers were able to put together a respectable season, finishing sixth among eight teams in the Missota Conference and tenth at the 14-team Section 1AA Championships.
"I am proud of all of the dedication and hard work of our runners," Revels said. "I think it is just as important to have a team that gels as a team that wins and this team had a strong bond.
"They went above and beyond in practice and they supported each other in competition. All of our runners showed improvement in personal times and I am happy with what they accomplished."
Ten girls earned varsity letters for their efforts: seniors Kayla Long and Nadia Perdormo; juniors Bailey Opsal, Marissa Stewart and Natalia Sitzman; sophomore Maria Kiminski; freshman Maricia Pacheco and eighth-graders Sofia Chadwick, Victoria Jacoby and Morgan Medved.
Pacheco finished 20th at the Missota Conference Championships to earn all-conference honorable mention and also garnered team Most Valuable Player honors. Veteran Opsal served as team captain.
Kiminksi earned the title "Most Dedicated Runner" while Long won the "Most Improved" award. Medved took home Rookie of the Year honors.
Revels cited several strong team performances during the 2010 season, including runner-up performances at both the New Prague and Rogers Invitationals and a fourth-place effort at the Shakopee Invitational.
The second year Tiger coach said she felt badly about losing two seniors, one to transfer and one to injury, and was disappointed that her team didn't have more depth.
"We are always looking for more runners," she said, "and that continues to be one of our biggest struggles."
Until the numbers improve, however, Revels seems content with the girls she has on her current roster.
"We had no seniors this year, so I am hopeful everyone will be back next fall," she said. "I believe we have the talent to move up if we keep working hard."