Schenck runs to All-State finish

Seth Schenck approaches the finish line to capture his second All-State medal, finishing in 15th place.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri State Cross Country Meet is the most difficult course any runner will face.  The state meet is known for eating runners’ alive, causing heartache and disappointment for hundreds of athletes each year.  Seth Schenck knows that feeling after finishing 29th last year.

This year there was no way Schenck was about to let history repeats itself.  The same strategy he used all season paid off with a 15th place finish (17:55) and his second All-State Medal after winning his first medal in 2010. (Freshman year)

Schenck said, The first thought I had after crossing the finish line was that I am just glad I made it, really thought I was going to die.”

We had asked Schenck after districts if he would have to use a different strategy at state with there being 175 runners and he said no.

Schenck receives state medal.

Coach John Tucker said, “I talked with our runners about how the start of the state meet is much different.  We actually used Seth [Schenck] as an example.  His time at the one-mile was five minutes and had nothing left for the last mile.  I thought everyone did really well at the start…not taking off too fast.”

Schenck was somewhere in the range of 25th-30th place after the first mile then he started picking off one after the other, moving up 10 places during the second mile.  Schenck’s second mile time was about 4:40 and exactly where he needed to be.

Schenck said, “After the two mile mark I kind of thought it’s already two miles, you’re going to have to and go for it anyways because people are going to be coming up on ya. So I just went for it after that.”

New Haven had two girls qualify, junior Fey Chavez and Clare Roth who is just a freshman.  This was also Chavez’s first year running.  Unfortunately neither medaled but happy with how they ran.

Tucker said, “Both Clare [Roth] and Fey [Chavez] ran well particularly being their first time running at state.”

Pictured, freshman Clare Roth.

Chavez finished 33rd and said, “When we first got here it was so overwhelming, I was so nervous, and starting off with so many runners at the beginning…trying to pass people was terrible because there were so many people around you.”

The last hill runners have to climb has been given many names over the years; most of them cannot be repeated.

Chavez said, “There were a couple of girls who got close to me going up the last hill but I was able to hold them off.  I passed three or four girls on the last stretch leading to the finish, so I was pretty proud of that.”

Overall Roth finished 67th but was 18th among the 45 other freshmen who had made it to state.

Dominick Pataky and Zach Grater were frustrated afterwards, feeling they could have ran faster times.  Pataky came in 42nd and Grater in 81st.  Both runners will have a chance again next year as Pataky will be a junior and Grater a senior.

Fey Chavez holds her place as she begins climbing the final hill before the finish line.