The skies were overcast, the temperature was in the upper forties, and the wind was coming out of the north at a sustained 10-15 miles per hour. These were the type of weather conditions that test your commitment level to the sport. So while the times didn't exactly catch my eye on Saturday one race did. The girls 1600m race would feature three state champions:
*Photo Credit Jon Halterman
- Jaynie Halterman - 2021 Large Division I 1600m State Champion
- Kyra Hayes - 2021 Division I Class AAA Cross Country State Champion
- Samantha Ouellette - 2021 Division I Class AA/A Cross Country State Champion
At one point or another during the race, one of these runners would take the lead but none of them would cross the finish line in first.
Sophomore Ella VanVranken attends Dekalb County High School but competes for Warren County threw a co-op up until about a month ago was still playing basketball for the Lady Tigers. In 2021, she placed 9th in both the 800m and 1600m which was right off the podium. This year, with more performances like this, she'll likely have a impact with how the medals are distributed in AAA in Murfreesboro. 5:18.80 currently ranks 7th overall in the event this season and it was likely run under the worst conditions of all of those performances.