By Mark Carpenter –
For the second consecutive year, Peebles senior Matt Seas was a participant in the OHSAA Division III Boys State Cross-Country Meet. After placing 20th in last year’s state meet, Seas earned a return to state by placing 14th in the Division III regional meet, held on Oct. 28 at Pickerington North High School.
As expected, the state meet provided some tough competition and Seas slipped a bit in 2017, falling to 29th place in the state meet, clocking a time of 16:39, compared to 16:24 last year at state.
With a certain college career in front of him, Seas critically assessed his own performance in the state meet in an email to the Defender.
“Overall, I was very disappointed with how the race went both because of my time and placing,” said the Peebles senior runner. “A 16:39 and 29th place is anything but appealing. Going into the race, I was very optimistic. The course seemed fine, despite having some muddy spots, but I think that was deceiving. Generally, the times all the way across were slow so I now know the mud was a bigger factor than I initially thought it would be.”
“From the gun, I have to say that I was not feeling the freshest,” continued Seas. “In the first 800 meters of the race, I was within the top 20 runners and that was a good start because I knew I didn’t want to be too bunched up. I reached the first 1600 meters at 5 minutes, which may have been too fast given the conditions. At that point, I was 11th in the race and over the next mile, I wanted to hang on to the second group of guys, because there were three front-runners well ahead of everyone. I managed to hang on and stayed in 11th until the 3200 meter mark, but there was little separation by anyone in the second pack.”
“In my mind at this part of the race, I was thinking ‘so far, so good’ though I had hoped for a better time. It was obvious that the times would not be there for pretty much everyone. In the first part of the last mile, fourth place was right in front of me but with about 900 meters to go, but I just did not have anything to respond with and got left by that second group and eventually I was passed by 18 runners.”
“I think my high expectations going in made me run a not very intelligent race,” concluded Seas. “If I had to do it over, I would run the first and second miles much smarter and try to respond better in the third mile.”