Girls claim team’s first state championship
The starting line was speckled with all the colors of the rainbow. Colorful specks jumped up and down on the field in a frenzy of anticipation. It was the big meet. It was what they worked for the whole season. It was what all those practices and hard work had to boil down to, only the best got that far, and only the top of those teams would finish with medals.
After the runners left the line in a huddle, the finish line screamed Bulldogs. The Baldwin High School girls cross country team finished at the top of the top, first at state.
"The scariest part of the race was when we all had to wait at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off," said freshman Amy Craig.
In the most important race of the season, the Bulldogs stopped at nothing. They finished with the first state title ever in BHS girls cross country history.
BHS is now the second Class 4A school to win both girls and boys state championships in the same year. The girls were escorted home by the police with a state championship plaque in tow. They went with seven runners and one alternate. Junior Erica Ogle crossed the finish line in fourth with a time of 12:12. Freshman Denise Orloff was close behind in seventh with a time of 12:29. Senior Abby Hofmeier placed 25th with a time of 12:58. Craig finished 30th with a time of 13:07. Junior Michelle Pressgrove crossed 33rd with a time of 13:09. Sophomore Missy Westgate finished 48th with a time of 13:27. Senior Kayla Pringle finished 58th with a time of 13:41. Junior Leah Clay was an alternate.
"We've had this goal in mind for the past year, so every day we did what we could to make sure we would be ready," said Ogle.
State is a time for high emotions and incredible pressure. Months of practice and dedication helped to prepare the Bulldogs for what laid ahead.
"What's prepared me most for the season has been our practices. Although they weren't always enjoyable, it's what got us the title in the end," said Orloff.
The runners definitely worked hard this season, and worked for their state title. With a past coach of the year at their heels, telling them how it goes.
"We couldn't have done any of this without coach (Spielman)," said Hofmeier.
Spielman credited the runners.
"They ran great races and were rewarded with a state championship," he said.
"We all ran well and left nothing on the course," said Hofmeier.
BHS once again made history.
"To be a part of a team that makes school history is a great thing," said Ogle.
The girls finished the season with a bang, and left the spectators cheering them on for future seasons.
"I don't think it could have been better. We wanted to go out there and end it on a good note. I think we ended this year with a bang," said Hofmeier.