OCHS Girls Reflect on a Great Cross Country Season
The team made the state Meet of Champions for the first time since 2003.
The Ocean City High School girls' cross country season ended on Wednesday, Nov. 21, when the team traveled back to Holmdel to race in the Meet of Champions.
In their third race in eight days, the girls all ran well despite being tired. Ranked 10th in the entire state going into the meet, they finished 14th out of the 18 teams that qualified for the Meet of Champions.
Running against the best runners in the state, Ocean City cross country did a terrific job in fighting through the tough 3.1-mile course to end their season after five months of training six days a week.
I asked the top three runners to reflect on the season:
- Mary Kate Brelsford, a senior captain of the team, and one of the top runners in South Jersey the last three years reflected on her time at Ocean City: "The past four years have flown by, and I would not have liked to spend it with any other team than the cross country team. They have been my family for the three years I have been at Ocean City High School. We have accomplished our goals together and achieved great things. The meets may be stressful at times, but there is nothing better than the feeling of having your team right by your side. Kirsten and I, as captains, have been extremely happy to know that the team has worked together and has gone undefeated in the Cape Atlantic League this season and last. With six seniors graduating this year, we hope that we can pass on the great experience we have had on the cross country team. Unforgettable memories were shared and these memories we will carry with us for the rest of our lives."
- Bridget Flynn also commented on the season. Bridget came to Ocean City this year as a junior on the School Choice Program. A great runner from Holy Spirit, she was a terrific addition to the team this year and was a wonderful example for the rest of the team: "Personally, this was my best cross country, although I wish I could have done better at the end of the season. But, it didn't take away from how great the team did, and I was glad to be a part of that."
- Devon Grisbaum, a sophomore this year and a former field hockey player, also played a large role in the success of this year's team. She too reflected on the season: "I think that my season was good, because it was my first year running, and I achieved my goal of running at the Meet of Champions. As a team we did great this year! We worked together every meet to push one another and it really helped. We even earned a spot at the MOC for the first time since 2003. After some ups and downs, we managed to figure it out for an amazing championship season. It is great to look back and know that all of the hard work we put in since July paid off."
In addition, Erin Myers, another sophomore, along with two other sophomores, Rachel Stremme and Maddy Brady — the 4th, 5th and 6th runners, all contributed mightily to helping the team get second at Sectionals and third in the Group 3 State Meet. Their strong running allowed Ocean City to make the MOC for the first time since 2003.
Finally, Tess Solazzo — a star lacrosse player — rounded out the top 7. As a senior, she will be terribly missed for her leadership and positive attitude.
The rest of the team, including senior captain Kirsten Kirschbaumer and senior Natalie Landi were instrumental with their positive attitudes and support for the team. The expectation for next year is that freshman runner Emma Bergman, who ran eighth this year will step up and help the team be just as successful next year. However, the great contributions of Mary Kate will be terribily missed. Her positive attitude, hard work and leadership will be very hard to replace.
Mary Kate, Bridget, Devon and Rachel were all named to the First Team All Star Cape-Atlantic League (CAL) team. Mary Kate, Bridget and Devon were named to the All South Jersey 2012 Cross Country Team. It is very rare that three runners from one team earn this honor as only 12 runners are picked each year and the team spans seven counties. All of these three ran as No. 1 during some point of the season.
— By Epiphany McGuigan