Rose Hill’s Emily Terrell believes she might be in line for the crown.
Terrell placed fourth a year ago as a sophomore with a time of 15 minutes, 39 seconds, making her two-for-two in state medal counts. She is one of eight girls returning to 4A that broke the 16-minute barrier.
Terrell said she feels the pressure, and gets nervous when Rose Hill Head Coach Brandon Barger even mentions state. For his part, Barger is trying to crack that outlook.
“I’ve kind of been pushing her a little bit to get to her and get her mindset that she can be,” he said. “Her mindset is kind of the nervous one, not really sure about herself. I’m trying to get that mentality into her head that she can be one of the elite runners in the state.”
If Terrell does turn into a confident runner, Rose Hill may be in the team title picture, as well.
The Rockets placed 10th in 2010, then jumped up to a seventh-place showing this past season.
Five runners return from the state squad. Joining Terrell are Erin Treiber (44th at state), Katy Nutsch (67th), Areila Schrader (73rd) and Kayla Collins (93rd).
Treiber and Nutsch have the potential to make the jump into the top 20, earning medals. Nutsch, a senior, logged 400 miles over the summer in preparation. She now has become the one to push Terrell in practice.
Barger said he has high expectations for the squad, but the runners are downplaying any premonitions of a state run.
“We’re hoping to win league, and I think our goal is to get first or second at regionals if we can,” Terrell said. “We haven’t really talked about it. I think we’re waiting to see how we do the first couple of meets.”
Rose Hill’s boys’ roster is much more unsettled. With Joey Kenneson gone to graduation, the Rockets do not have a state placer – or even a state qualifier – returning.
However, Barger said it is the first time he has had a double-digit number of boys out for the team. Barger said Kenton Webber is the likely pacesetter.