Section 3AA Preview
“The weather’s supposed to be a high of 40 (degrees) with 16 mile an hour winds,” reports YME head corss country coach Jim Ford as if he’s been looking at weatherchannel.com every fifeteen minutes. “The hardest part is getting the kids to dress halfway decent for the cold,” he frets.
You can bet he’ll be checking forecasts regularly before his team heads to the Section 3AA Cross Country Meet at Adrian this Thursday.
It’s the biggest meet of the year for the Sting, whose boys team has put together a solid season led by one of the area’s best runners in Jacob Carroll.
As a team the Sting boys have beaten all but four, or five of the schools in the 22-team field that will run Thursday. So, their goal Thursday, according to Ford, is to place in the top five. Their other goal? Get Jacob Carroll to State.
“Right now Jacob looks pretty good on paper,” says Ford. “Jake has a good shot. The team’s been encouraging him and staying positive. He’s run against all these kids before. I think he feels confident. But you never know until the race is over.”
Carroll’s state bid has been made a little easier this season with cross country adopting a similar process for qualifying for state as golf. This year the top eight athletes not on one of the top two teams (who automatically qualify) will get a state bid.
Carroll, who last week won the West Central Conference Meet (making him only the third conference champion Ford has coached) should be at least one of the top five fastest runners at the meet.
“It could be a big boost for our program,” said Ford of Carroll’s opportunity for State. “It would be something we’d build on and maybe next year we can talk about being one of those top two teams that make State.”
But for now the coach can only check the weather and beg his kids to dress halfway decent.