Boys Varsity Cross Country, Girls Varsity Cross Country · Three Chemics Qualify for State XC Meet


Midland High School will send three Chemics to the MHSAA Division One state cross country meet hosted at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, November 6th.   The top 3 teams from each division and the top 7 individuals NOT on a qualifying team advance to the state meet.

Junior Matthew Crowley finished in 2nd place at the Regional Meet hosted on Saturday at White Pine Middle School with a time of 16:06.31.  Fellow 11th grader, Daniel Berg also qualified with a time 16:50.59.  Their race begins at 9:30am

Senior Maddie Isola qualified for the ladies’ state meet by finishing 6th overall with a time of 19:36.37.  Her race will begin at 11:00.

Chemics.net caught up with each of them to gain some insight into their season, emotions, and thoughts heading into the state meet.

 

Maddie Isola

Q1. Although the team did not quite qualify for the state meet, you qualified as an individual by finishing in the top 7 at the MHSAA regional meet.  Cross Country has both team and individual components. How do the two complement one another?

Maddie Isola: The MHS cross country team is so supportive of each other. Even though it is an individual sport when it comes to running the races, the team works together to score points. The team is able to get very close because we put in hundreds of miles together, starting in July. Even if we are running different paces, we still cheer each other on and support each other’s successes. Some of our runners have similar paces so are able to push one another during the race.

 

Q2. Cross Country is a sport that challenges an athlete’s mental abilities as much as physical skills.  How do you keep an even keel and stay focused throughout a race?

Maddie Isola: Mentally preparing for a meet is a process which the coaches and I work on throughout the week. The coaches remind the team to have a goal for the race and to visualize yourself running it. They also help us come up with a race plan. The day before the meet, Coach Plude and I go over the race plan, talking about where I should be place-wise and time-wise.  Remembering all the miles and the training I’ve put in helps me to feel confident while I run, because I know I can handle it. I know I can keep my pace. During the race, staying confident helps me to keep going fast even if I am really tired.

 

Q3. The last Chemic XC state qualifier from the girls side was the 2010 team which finished 12th overall.  How does it feel to be in some pretty select company?

Maddie Isola: Wow, I was only seven when our xc team went to states last. It feels very exciting, and I am honored to be representing Midland High School.  Ever since I was a freshman, it’s been my dream to run at the state meet, but I wasn’t ever sure it was going to happen. I kept working hard, training, and most of all, believing in myself. Once I convinced myself that only I could slow myself down, I have been running with so much more confidence. And now my hard work is paying off. It’s an honor to be racing at the state meet as part of the MHS XC team. I couldn’t have done it without the support from my team and my coaches.

 

Q4. State qualifiers are the best of the best, and no one gets there by accident.  What does your off-season training regimen look like?

Maddie Isola: My off-season training is usually November-March and then during the summer (June-August). The off-season training consists of lifting three days a week, running, and lots of stretching and strengthening exercises to make sure I don’t get injured. This spring I was just recovering from a knee injury so I did lots of biking. Once I recovered from the injury, I was able to start building up my mileage again.

 

Q5. This is your first time on the big state at Michigan International Speedway. What are you expecting?

Maddie Isola: I’ve heard the course is hilly, which is always an added challenge; and that overall the course is fun to run. It feels surreal that I get to run alongside the best runners in the state. I’m not going into the race with any expectations, except to give it my all, and we’ll see what happens.

 

 

 

Matt Crowley

Q1. Although the team did not quite qualify for the state meet, you qualified as an individual by finishing in the top 7 at the MHSAA regional meet.  Cross Country has both team and individual components. How do the two complement one another?

Matt Crowley: With the two aspects, you still get to support your team while being solely responsible for how well you perform. Additionally you get to run with your teammates which makes training more enjoyable. Mr. and Mrs. Coach keep the positive team atmosphere throughout the season.

 

Q2. Cross Country is a sport that challenges an athlete’s mental abilities as much as physical skills.  How do you keep an even keel and stay focused throughout a race?

Matt Crowley: Throughout the race the coaches are there to help remind us to stay focused on our race plan, along with how we should react to what is happening in the race. But during the time in between coaches, I do my best by focusing on the next turn or person in front of me.

 

Q3. The last Chemic to qualify for the state meet was your teammate Tyler Pritchett in 2018.  How has he impacted your time as a Chemic?  Has he offered any advice?

Matt Crowley: Since freshman year Ty has always given me advice about how to train and race. I have always looked up to him as he has been a great role model to follow. We still stay in contact about running and how things are going.

 

Q4. State qualifiers are the best of the best, and no one gets there by accident.  What does your off-season training regimen look like?

Matt Crowley: I do my best to keep my training consistent year round. Coach Plude is great at providing guidelines to help me train during the off-season. During the off-season I run 6 days a week with one day cross training and an additional 3 days of weightlifting mixed in. I also bump up my weekly mileage during the off-season with less frequent speed workouts.

 

Q5. This is your first time on the big state at Michigan International Speedway. What are you expecting?

Matt Crowley: I was fortunate enough during my freshman year to be able to run the warmups with Ty. So I know what the course is like and how chaotic the meet is. But there is a big difference between running on the course and racing on the course. There is a highly competitive field to go against as I look forward to being a part of that.

 

Daniel Berg

Q1. Although the team did not quite qualify for the state meet, you qualified as an individual by finishing in the top 7 at the MHSAA regional meet.  Cross Country has both team and individual components. How do the two complement one another?

Daniel Berg: I know it’s difficult trying to be both a team player and individual athlete, but wrestling has helped me understand this well.  I know that in order for the team to do well, I need to do the best that I can.  I can’t run the race for my teammates, but I can congratulate them and practice with them in a way that they do their best over the course of the season.  I think that while I’m out racing, it is a very individual sport, but every minute you’re not competing, it’s all about helping your teammates.

 

Q2. Cross Country is a sport that challenges an athlete’s mental abilities as much as physical skills.  How do you keep an even keel and stay focused throughout a race?

Daniel Berg: It’s hard to stay on track sometimes, especially if you’re not in the place or with the pack that you want to be.  Over the course of all the meets, I knew who I needed to run with and who I needed to beat in order to prepare me for regionals.  I’m a very competitive person, and that along with the goal/plan of who I wanted to stick with helped me stay mentally engaged.

 

Q3. The last Chemic to qualify for the state meet was your teammate Tyler Pritchett in 2018.  How has he impacted your time as a Chemic?  Has he offered any advice?

Daniel Berg: Mostly, just being able to be around Ty for a year or two and see what he was able to do helps motivate me.  If another guy my age can train and compete at that level, that helps motivate me to push myself harder so I can get to where Ty has gotten.

 

Q4. State qualifiers are the best of the best, and no one gets there by accident.  What does your off-season training regimen look like?

Daniel Berg: I wrestle in the winter and run track in the spring as well, so I’m always staying in shape.  This year, I knew I had a chance of doing great things in XC so I started training as soon as track was cancelled.  I ran 5-6 days a week, doing around 30-35 miles until official cross-country training began again in the summer.

 

Q5. This is your first time on the big state at Michigan International Speedway. What are you expecting?

Daniel Berg: I’m expecting it to be a little overwhelming, with all the spectators and the number of runners, but I think it will actually be a low-stress environment.  The stressful part of actually making it to states is over, so now I just get to go out there and see what I can do.  I know I’m not going to be anywhere near the top in my race, so I only need to compete against myself.