OVID-ELSIE, Mich (WLNS) – For the first time in school history, the Ovid-Elsie girls cross country team captured the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference title. It’s why the Marauders are the latest 6 Sports Team of the Week.
“We trained five days a week in the summer, which was very important to the success we’ve had in the fall,” Ovid-Elsie first-year coach, Wesley Diener said.
“I was glad that we got to do it with this group of girls because we’ve all been with each other the whole time,” Ovid-Elsie junior runner, Alexis Spitzley said. “We’ve worked really hard all summer.”
That hard work led Spitzley to the individual conference title, on Tuesday and under the new leadership of Diener this season, the Marauders have never looked back.
“My average is better, I finally achieved my PR (personal record) from like a year ago, which is great because I beat it by 14 seconds,” Ovid-Elsie senior, Samantha Grubaugh said. “My old PR was a 23:29 and my new PR is 23:15.”
A key reason why the Marauders have taken an extra step this season is due to what Diener has brought to the table. Instead of having time-based practices, O-E has mile-based practices.
“We all had a good attitude and we all came to work hard, and we put in the miles,” Spitzley said.
“Last year we had time to run for an hour, but we didn’t have a pace to run it at. So, we kind of run it slow and didn’t improve much,” Grubaugh said. “With mileage base, you push yourself to get at a pace that you’re comfortable with running at.”
Diener also happens to be the third head coach senior like Grubaugh has had in four years, and he’s taught her “that I have the potential to be a better runner if I was confident enough to.”