On September 17th, the Spartans and Toppers were racing in different locations. Kay came to stay with us for a few days, and she and Scott took the girls to their race at Saltillo High School. One of the best things about Scott's new coaching job is his ability to set his own schedule and make himself available on Saturday mornings when necessary- the kids love having their daddy get to come to races.
Hannah and Sarah ran the JV race. The race start was very crowded, and the girls fought being boxed in.
Both girls worked hard and we are very proud of them!
The BMC team raced in Starkville at the Mississippi State Invitational. The women's team finished 3rd, right behind MSU and LSU! Their times continued to improve.
The next weekend was the Tallahatchie Riverfest 5K in New Albany. This 5K has grown to be a large race, and most runners in our area come to participate. The Spartans came to compete, and the BMC runners came to serve as timers/ course monitors... it was nice to have both teams in one place!
After the race, we went to a booth at the Riverfest craft fair and displayed many things that the Spartans had made to sell for the kids at St. Jude. Everything sold went directly to St. Jude through Preston's Pit Crew... Our St. Jude marathon team. Over $100 was sold, and the leftover items were sent to St. Jude to be given to the kids there as gifts.
The first weekend in October was the Rhodes Invitational at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN. The BMC women had to run a 6K race, and the BMC men kept their standard 8K distance. (The Spartans had an off weekend.) Before the Ladies race, a group of runners from another team asked runners to join in prayer. So many teams were eager to participate that there was a sizable circle of athletes at the starting line.
In the women's race, all of our ladies were faster at the 5K mark than in the previous races... and they still had a kilometer to go... on a legit cross country course. It was interesting coaching a group of runners on the course that was considered our "home course" in high school; we practiced at Shelby Farms several times each week. This was also the course that I ran with a broken foot in college- I definitely know that it is much easier to tell girls to pick up knees and push up a hill than to actually do it!
On October 8th, We had the second "Meet the Toppers" day with a 5K race, plate lunch sale, games, and athletic introductions. There were several races scheduled for that weekend, so we had a fairly small crowd. However, the Spartans showed up and had another good race... on another beautiful morning! The BMC runners hosted a face painting table, a coffee table, and a 4-square game.
The next weekend, the Toppers would hit the road again... this time we headed to Owensboro, KY. In my mind, I thought Owensboro was right across the TN border... WRONG!! It was about a 7 hour trip! We had a great day, though, and here is the press release concerning the meet:
OWENSBORO, Ky. -- Austin Epting and Latifa Swims led Blue Mountain College to respective fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the Fast Cats Invitational here Saturday.
Epting powered his way to a sixth-place finish out of 107 runners with his 8k time of 26:58.73, and Swims cruised to a 12th-place finish in the 107-runner 5k field with a time of 19:24.38.
Austin Peay State University won the men's competiton and the University of Southern Indiana captured the women's title.
Southern Indiana took the top four spots in the women's race, led by Jackie Henderson at 18:26.60. In the men's race, David Baker, running unattached, led the field with a time of 26:01.99.
BMC WOMEN: (12) Latifa Swims 19:24.58; (34) Kelsea Posadas 20:16.65; (38) Tuesdae Rowland 20:31.72; (52) Emma Baxter 21:16.33; (73) Kacie Harris 22:37.30; (82) Beth Goolsby 23:01.59; (93) Keira Mayfield 23:56.86.
BMC MEN: (6) Austin Epting 26:58.73; (28) Richard Feist 27:59.03; (45) Hunter Flanagan 28:55.58; (48) Brian McDonnieal 29:00.91; (54) Nathan Young 29:15.80; (55) Jose Valle 29:17.0; (58) Riley Bennett 29:32.35; (62) Derek Scott 29:42.90; (65) Bryan Cook 29:52.12; (79) CAsey Bales 20:49.30; (99) Drew Bruce 33:50.99; (103) Zack Brock 35.00.92.
Congratulations to Latifa and Austin, who were the TranSouth Runners of the Week!
After the Owensboro meet, the BMC runners were mid-season and ready for a weekend OFF. It worked out nicely, because the Homeschool national championship meet was October 22 in Springfield, MO.
The Spartans met and caravaned from New Albany to Springfield... caravaning with 1-3 cars is one thing. Trying to caravan with about 20 cars is a whole other ball game, especially when bathroom stops are made and 50 people are trying to use 1 potty! Sarah rode in the Cobb van, and had fun with her peeps!
The week after homeschool nationals was "fun week," Since we were not worried about injuries, we had our annual shaving cream fight on Tuesday and then Crazy Hair Day on Thursday. Thursday was also Josh's birthday, so I had to miss crazy hair day this year.
For crazy hair day, Sara went with a crazy punk theme, and Hannah made her bun look like a ball of yarn!
Now it was time to wrap up the BMC season... We ended October with the Conference championship meet. Our runners did a great job and finished well. Here is the press release:
Jackson, TN- Led by Austin Epting and Latifa Swims, Blue Mountain College captured a pair of second-place finishes in the TranSouth Athletic Conference cross country meet here Saturday. Union University captured both team titles, followed by BMC, Bethel University and Freed-Hardeman University.
Epting, a junior from East Union, and Swims, a freshman from Carrollton, each finished second in the men’s and women’s races. Swims was named the Newcomer of the Year among the TSAC women runners.
Epting ran the 8k men’s race in 26:23, second to Union's Alex Bett at 25:32, and Richard Feist of Saltillo was fourth at 26:47.
Swims ran a 5k 19:12 to finish behind Union’s Allison Martin in 19:02. BMC’s Kelsea Hendrix of Corinth was fifth at 19:56, and Tuesdae Rowland of Ripley was seventh at 20:34. Epting and Feist were named to the men’s all-conference team, and Swims, Hendrix and Rowland were named to the women’s all-conference team.
WOMEN 5k -- LaTifa Swims (2) 19:12; Kelsea Hendrix (5) 19:56; Tuesdae Rowland (7) 20:34; Emma Baxter (10) 21:01; Kacie Harris (15) 22:01; Beth Goolsby (18) 22:21.
MEN 8k -- Austin Epting (26:23); Richard Feist (26:47); Brian McDonnieal (12) 28:15; Hunter Flanagan (28:25); Jose Valle (14) 28:45; Riley Bennett (19) 29:17; Casey Bales (21) 29:20; Bryan Cook (23) 29:35; Derek Scott (26) 30:17; Nathan Young (27) 31:03; Zack Brock (30) 32:54; Drew Bruce (31) 33:41.
Below: Seniors Hunter Flanagan, Tuesdae Rowland, Richard Feist, Nathan Young- I will miss this group of runners!
Two meets remained on our race calendar... Regionals and then Nationals. Going into Regionals, we knew that it would be very difficult for any BMC runners to qualify for nationals. Our grouping this year was MUCH more competitive, but at least we got to go visit St. Louis! AND, Scott and the girls got to go with us, making it much more enjoyable for me! (We dropped the boys off with my parents for the weekend on our way to Missouri.) After checking into a NICE Drury Inn, we jogged the course and then did some downtown sightseeing. It is probably a good thing that Scott stayed in the hotel room during this time, because me driving the bus in downtown St. Louis was a little frightening for all parties involved.
Beth, Kelsea, Tuesdae, Kacie, LaTifa, Keira, and Stephanie under the arch
Senior guys- Richard, Hunter, Nathan
The race went about as I expected. The runners gave it their all, and Latifa ended up being the only one to qualify for nationals. Most everyone was relieved that the long season was over. After the race, we went to the St. Louis Zoo and then to Lambert's in Sikeston, MO for some throwed rolls on the way home.
Sarah and Hannah at the zoo