By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells cross country runner Alex Pearcy is not a stranger to top competition in the state.
The junior will be competing at the Class 3A state cross country meet at Old Settler’s Park on Saturday. She placed ninth overall last week at the Region I meet to qualify for the state meet. The top 10 runners from each region qualify for the state meet. The girls’ 3A race begins at 10:40 a.m.
Pearcy, who runs a competitive summer circuit schedule, also qualified for the 3A state meet as a freshman in 2011.
“I am real proud to see us get someone out to the state meet,” MWHS cross country coach Jackie Harvey said. “All of the girls worked hard and they pushed each other.
“I feel the girls and the boys ran good at the regional meet, but we just came up short as teams.
“I am proud of Alex, she has been in the program since junior high, and she puts in a lot of time and works hard over the summer.
“It is hard to be up at the high school at 6 a.m. during the week to workout, and these kids are disciplined, so it is always nice to see when they get rewarded for all of the hard work they put in.
“It’s great that Alex qualified again for state, and she earned it.”
The course at Old Settler’s Park is challenging to say the least. Not only will Pearcy be running against the state’s best girls, but the course is unlike any course she will have run on this year.
Fortunately for Pearcy, she ran the course two years ago when she qualified for state as a freshman, and all of the runners will get a chance to run the course the day before the meet
“The start is narrow and it funnels the kids down,” Harvey said. “There are also other spots on the course that grow narrow, so it makes it a very difficult course.
“If you don’t get out in front early and get yourself in position it is difficult to pass the other runners, especially early in the course. And there are other spots on it where you can’t pass.
“At the state meet everyone runs well, so that makes it that much more important to get out to a fast start. But that has been Alex’s plan in every race she has ran this year so this race will not be any different as far as strategy.”
Harvey feels Pearcy will not be intimidated by the course or the competition.
“She went down there as a freshman, so as a junior Alex won’t be intimidated,” Harvey said. “She ran well at state her freshman year and I don’t think she was intimidated then.
“It is good that she is familiar with this course because there will be a lot of runners there for the first time.
“Alex knows what to expect from the course. She knows where the turns are and where you have to be at certain points of the race. It helps that she has ran at state before.”
Harvey said his runner has a chance to medal or place high at the meet.
“Alex will have to run faster than she did at the regional meet,” Harvey said. “The pace will be a lot faster. But Alex has ran better each week, and
I look for her to run her best on Saturday.”
MWHS CC notes: A scoring glitch from the boys’ regional cross country meet originally had the Rams placing 14th overall. After reviewing the times the Rams finished in 12th place.