Augusta Cross Country Makes State Championship Appearance
November 17, 2012Augusta Independent Schools
This time last year, Augusta’s cross country runners had been finished with their season for nearly a month. Not so this year, as members of the team advanced to the Class “A” State Championship held on November 10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington after qualifying at the Regional Meet on November 03 in Danville.
Senior Tanner Kelsch and freshman Camryn Snapp, who have been Augusta’s leading runners the past two seasons, each qualified for state as individuals in Danville. Kelsch ran the Kentucky Horse Park course in 18:28, placing 55th. Snapp finished 70th by running an 18:46. “I was pleased with their effort and performance. This has been a new experience for us running in the post-season,” said Augusta Coach Tim Litteral. “I don’t know exactly when Augusta was last represented in a state championship, but it’s been a long time. I told my guys to be proud, because it is a big deal and it’s a special moment.”
Kelsch was pleased with his performance. “I saw where I was projected to come in 101st, so my goal was top 100,” Kelsch said. “I kept most of my strategies the same, although I knew in the beginning, I had to get out close to the front so I wouldn’t get caught in the back. The course was tough, but I’m happy with how I did.”
“I’m happy that Tanner got to experience something like this before he graduated,” Litteral stated. “He also came in well below is goal of top 100. He’s been a leader of this program and deserved this opportunity.”
The young freshman was excited to be racing on the final weekend of the season as well. "When I heard my name mentioned as one of the five individuals to qualify for the state meet ... it made me realize that all of the hard work that I put in during the summer and the season was worth it," Snapp commented. "It was an honor to represent my school." The course, which may look "easy" to spectators, was not according to both runners. "It was the most challenging course I ran all year," Snapp continued. "But I can't wait to work hard next season and possibly get the opportunity to run the course again and improve my place and time."
"Camryn brings a lot of excitement to our program," Litteral said. "Doing this well as a freshman, he's raised the expectations on himself some, and we'll definitely be relying on him to be an on-the-course leader next season. He knows that though, and I think he's accepting of that challenge."
While they are "competitors" in a sense on the course, Snapp and Kelsch, along with the rest of the team, have had a good relationship and are constantly there for each other, according to Coach Litteral, as is evident in Snapp's final comment. "I need thank my teammates and Tanner for motivating me to work hard throughout the season," said Snapp.
“With this just be our second year for the program and me only being a second year coach, I’m still constantly learning things,” said Litteral. “We had the opportunity to come here for a regular season meet, but I passed on that to attend a meet closer to home. At the time, I didn’t realize this was where state was held, and to be honest, I hadn’t given state much thought. My focus was more on our first regional appearance, as I didn’t even know what to expect there. I’m sure like a lot of runners, my guys typically do better when they’re familiar with the course, so if there’s a regular season meet held at the Horse Park next year, we’ll likely be attending.”