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Highland’s Madison Thomann took an early lead and never let it go in her first career meet win at the Washington Country Club.
“Everyone was telling me the other girl was coming up closer, but I just had to win. I have to prove it to myself that I can do it, and that’s what kept me going,” Thomann said after the race.
Her finish time of 21:51 was enough to win on the hilly course and it keeps the Highland sophomore on track with her goals.
Thomann was disappointed with her time of 23:50 and a 39th-place finish at last year’s district qualifying meet. So she decided to do something about it.
“(I want) to be up there and make it to state. Last year I didn’t make it and I just really want to get there,” Thomann said.
She said meets like this are where she’s seeing increased effort in practice paying off.
Thomann jumped out to the lead in the first half mile of the race and built a 10-second gap between her and the next runner by the one-mile mark. At the mile mark, she said she wasn’t as tired as she typically is at that point and was able to pick up her pace.
For Thomann, going out fast makes sense. She likes the pressure of a runner behind her.
She said having people along the way in her ear that someone from behind is gaining helps her maintain pace.
Her coach, Angela Strobel, said her strong year has everything to do with consistently hard work in practice.
“She looked strong and confident from start to finish in Thursday’s race and I think that has everything to do with her consistent effort in practice,” Strobel said.
Strobel said she has fixed some issues with breathing and pacing, but her competitive nature has helped her through that.
“Madison is a competitive person. She’ll leave it all out there on the course,” Strobel said.
Thomann now has her sights set on the upcoming SEISC meet on Oct. 4 and the state qualifying meet on Oct. 18.