Taken from Coach Schindel's Franklin Cross Country Team Newsletter #13:
On Saturday, Oct. 30th 2010, history was made by Freshman Allie Fons. She will be known as the WIAA D1 State Champion as well as the fastest freshman on the 2.5 mile state course ever (although the course was slightly altered so I don't know if she will officially have the record) Only three Freshman girls have ever won the Division 1 State Meet. Suzy Favor in 1982 and Janet Westphal in 1990. It has been 20 years of upper class ladies dominating the course.
For anyone interested in all the state records here is the link I used to research that information: http://www.wisconsinrunner.com/wccca/history/alltime_state_individuals.htm
and the all time list of winners: http://wiaawi.org/crosscountry/gteamchamps.pdf
We arrived at the course early in the morning to walk it, to help alleviate Allie's nervousness about where to go. It was 45 degrees and the air had a chilly breeze. Some of Allie's teammates who made the trip up (Katie Carlino, Hannah Timm, Jenny Eickhorst, Katelyn Salzburger and Emma Klein) kept the mood light and fun as they joked about running and other things on our walk. We wished others good luck as we passed them on the course. Occasionally, we would stop and I would point out spots that Allie would want to be careful of, where she wanted to be position wise and where she could push the pace if she had the chance, surge to try to pull away from who was near her or catch those in front.
The plan was that Allie get out into the lead group in the first half mile, so that she didn't get pushed or shoved too much. The State meet is physical and one of the only times I ever hear girls complain of getting elbowed or kicked or tripped. Avoiding the mass of people was important for Allie, I knew then she would be able to try and "relax" in the lead group and make sure that the pace stayed fast, Allie is strong on hills and we knew it would play to her advantage if the first mile and a half was pretty fast! True to our plan Allie did just those things, coming to the 3000 meter mark, Allie had done the next part or her plan, which was to surge up the hills and try to loose some of the lead group. We hoped that would ensure her a top 6 spot on the awards stand. To my sheer amazement at the 2 mile, as Allie passed her spectators including many teammates, her dad and her coaches (Jerome and I) she surged to a 10 second lead! The rest of the race is history, literally it will go down in history. She will be the first ever State Champion in Franklin Cross Country, the fastest freshman, one of only 3 D1 freshman to ever win the women's race since it started in 1978.
It was so much fun to watch, she had a slightly scared look on her face at that 2 mile marker and I asked her what she was thinking at that spot. "I was waiting for someone to pass me" she said. I asked her what goals she had before the race and what her plan was. "First is to have fun. I just want to enjoy this, I am so happy I made it". Her very next statement was that she is sad that the season is over and that she won't get to see her teammates after practice anymore. Allie was aware she was one of the favorites coming into the meet, but she didn't care about that so much as she really just wanted to have fun and race well. Coach Missiaen asked her after the race if she had any negative thoughts during the run. "Yes, I occasionally thought 3rd place would be fine or I would be really happy with 2nd place. Sometimes when the group surged I thought about letting them go without me" But she didn't give up hope on staying with the front pack or on winning. She jogged across the line and high fived everyone she knows that came to support her. Taking pictures with family, friends and teammates. Other athletes and coaches from the area congratulating her as well. It makes me appreciate the sport of cross country, to have so many people who watched this young lady all season and have them congratulate her and go out of the way to tell her it was fun watching her run, because that was all Allie wanted was to have fun!
Congratulation Allie, you have had a great first year of cross country, all your hard work, miles this summer and fun positive attitude. Congratulations to every person who has coached, taught, encouraged and motivated Allie, yes she did it all by herself, but she is a sponge of information from many people in the Franklin community!Congratulations to the Fons family and especially Lindsay Fons for inspiring Allie and showing her how to surge at the 2 mile mark(like you did to win Conference in 2009). Congratulations to Carolyn Guenther, Katie Dobbs and Raychel Watters who can say they were the Seniors who kept watchful eye of the State Champion and took care of all of the freshman, the best groups in school history. Congratulations to the leaders of the team whether Captain's including Hannah Timm or just organizers of fun team activities.....making it fun is why Allie won!
Thank you Allie for making State fun for all of Franklin!
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