The Albia Lady Dees took their first interstate travels for a cross country meet in the program’s history, and represented ACHS extremely well. Of the 37 teams that were represented at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival in the Small School Division, Albia walked away with a 13th place team finish. “The ladies sure ran well today,” said Coach Todd Ratliff. “They represented Albia with hard work and strong races.”
The Forest Park XC Festival is a day of racing in the heart of St. Louis. The day consisted of 14 different races, each of them packed to the limits with runners. It was broken down into class size races, with 37 teams falling into the small class race. This is where the Albia Lady Dees would shine.
Sherryl Mae Rowe continued her streak of consecutive meets with a medal on the season placing in the top 30 with her 28th place finish. Her time of 22:50 led the Lady Dees. Emma Martin was able to run to an all time career best with a time of 24:07 and bring home 47 team points with Becca Pistek in the bronze medal spot for the team with a time of 24:18 and 53 team points. “These three really got after it in the last half of the race today,” said Coach Ratliff. “At the mile mark Sherryl Mae was in 42nd and just kept moving forward through the finish line. Emma was a real pleasant surprise as she finished in the top two for the team for the first time in her career, and Becca was in 68th with just a mile to go. Just a tremendous effort in finishing her race today.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Dees in fourth place for the team and getting 81 team points was Ellie Martin with Allison Major and Brooke Smith pushing each other through the finish line receiving 85 and 86 team points respectively. Ellie’s time was 25:38 with Allison finishing in 25:46 and Brooke in 25:49. “These girls fed off of each other throughout the whole race,” said Coach Ratliff. “It is the first time this season that six runners have eclipsed the 26 minute mark. A gritty effort for each of them from the start of the race to the finish line.”
Ava Brown would finish seventh for the Lady Dees in the 153-person race and score 95 team points in a time of 26:20 with Sara Pistek finishing in 28:32 to round out the squad.
“I was so excited for the squad today,” said the coach. “They were able to drop our average team time by nearly a minute per runner on the average today. They stayed relaxed even though their warm up time was cut short and the size of the meet was like nothing they had ever raced in before (nearly 25 percent more runners than at the state meet last fall in class 2A). I hope they remember the trip for years to come.”
Varsity Girls Team Results 1. Pekin 117, 2. Pacific 161, 3. Breese (Central) 163, 4. St. Francis Borgia 196, 5. Mexico 204, 6. St. Clair 210, 7. St. Dominic 224, 8. Union 236, 9. Perryville 238, 10. Warrenton 245, 11. Jefferson (Festus) 262, 12. Excelsior Springs 268, 13. Albia 291, 14. West County 295, 15. Pembroke Hill 308, 16. Parkway North 321, 17. Althoff Catholic 381, 18. Affton 457, 19. Marissa Senior 460, 20. Dupo 503.