Josephine Blatny ’20 finished 29th while representing Fairbury at the State Cross Country meet at Kearney on Friday, October 19. Blatny acted as the Jeffs’ only State qualifier after placing 7th at the District meet earlier this month.
This is Blatny’s second straight year qualifying for State after all of the Lady Jeff varsity runners made it as a team in 2017. Additionally, she placed several times at a variety of meets this fall. Head Cross Country Coach Kristi Peterson credits Blatny’s performance to hours of hard work before and throughout the season.
“It was not surprising that Josie did so well this year,” Peterson said. “She ran over 300 miles last summer, so she was really prepared for the season! The same hard-working Josie showed up for practice every day! She gave the same effort every day, regardless of how her day went prior to practice.”
Blatny improved 18 places from last year’s State run. However, she did not meet her time goal set before Friday due to windy conditions.
“It’s not what I wanted to do, but I’m okay with it,” Blatny said. “Improving that much from last year is good.”
Overall, Peterson believes she oversaw a successful season for her runners. She is proud of the dedication to the sport that she witnessed from many athletes and hopes they continue working hard next year.
“We had some kids who really worked hard throughout the season,” Peterson said. “It is a journey from the hot practices to the cold practices. The lesson runners learn is that they find out they can push themselves past what they thought they were capable of doing. I hope that more runners will take the opportunity in the summer to prepare for the season by getting in some miles prior to the start of the season. It is really important that runners develop a base so once the season begins, we are ready to go.”