On a saturated course this past Saturday, Jacob Corbett finished 58th place in the IHSAA Cross Country State Finals. As one of 2 states in the nation (Hawaii being the other) running a single class race for their state title, qualifying for the state championship meet is comparatively among this nation’s most difficult athletic feats. Jacob bravely earned his spot to race among 208 other competitors in Terre Haute. Touted as Cross Country Town, USA, Terre Haute has been the host site for the state championships for over 10 years and the host site for the NCAA Division I championships many times in the past decade. A wonderful course laid out in a huge open field with rolling hills and well-manicured grass, the terrain appears to be very raceable and fast. Looks are usually deceiving in Terre Haute as the clay soil, as usual, was extremely saturated. With pockets of standing water spread throughout the course, we tested the sponginess by fairly easily pushing a finger an inch into the soil at any given point. We knew many runners would not be prepared for that feeling of racing in sand or muck and we knew that Jacob, a tough minded young man used to good hard physical labor on the farm, would handle it better than most. A month ago, Jacob was ranked the 144th best runner in our state. As little as 2 weeks ago, he had moved up to 114th in the rankings. Going into the ISHAA State Finals, he was ranked 85th. We felt he could pull off a solid race and somehow get into the top 70 this day. Jacob ran intelligently to the mile, conserving energy and waiting to make a strong move. The second mile saw Jacob moving from around 75th place to 65th. The final mile, Jacob gained positions but also gave some spots back. With 400 meters to go, Jacob put in a strong finish and moved up to 58th place by the finish. With so many very strong cross country athletes in our state, among our nations top 10 cross country states, it was a stretch to think that Jacob could finish 58th overall when we envisioned things at the start of the summer. What an excellent finish to a fine racing career in cross country for Jacob, and what a fun season our team had overall in going from a pretty good team at the start to one of the top 40 in the state. Using the IHSAA Football Enrollment Classifications, we would be considered the 4th best team in the state in the 4A class. I’m proud of what these young men have achieved this season and look forward to future race performances to which they can each be proud. New Prairie Cross Country is very healthy and looking to represent our school and community in a fine way for years to come.
|New Prairie High School||58th||0|