FORT DODGE – Abbi Goering marked the first State Cross Country Meet qualifier for Interstate 35 since 2013 and the freshman showed up in force, completing the race as the 30th fastest contestant in the girls Class 1A meet.
Goering, a freshman, has been making noise throughout the year by setting school records and besting her personal PR’s.
That mark didn’t change Saturday as Goering set a new PR in 21:06.1.
The freshman had set her goals as a top 30 finish and a new personal record, both of which she accomplished.
“I think she ran as well as we could have asked her to run with her being so young and it being her first trip up to state,” said I-35 coach Desman Oakley. “We wanted her to set some ambitious goals.”
For Goering it dawned on her quickly to the magnitude of the meet and how she performed in her first trip to Fort Dodge.
“It was a crazy experience and I’m really blessed to be able to do what I do. It was just crazy, honestly,” said Goering to the Sentinel-Tribune’s Scott Vicker.
Oakley has admitted throughout the season that they knew the talented runner they had coming up to the high school ranks this year.
Goering thought the accomplished proved a lot to herself.
“It really shows me that if I set my mind to something, I can really do it. I know that I will 100 percent train as hard as I can this summer to hopefully make it next year, as well,” said Goering.
The freshman added that she thought her training on both hills and the school track helped her challenge other runners with her acceleration.
Oakley reflected on Goering’s work ethic after the race, noting that the rookie varsity runner had been training with varsity kids since her days in middle school.
The Roadrunner head coach added that knee problems tempered some of Goering’s workout throughout the season, but didn’t ever seem to slow her.
“We thought it might hinder some of her performances in meets, but it really didn’t,” said Oakley. “We kept her on the track early in the season and I think it helped her hold out a little bit.”