A motivated group of runners took the track for Borgia to compete in the Class 3 girls 3,200-meter relay at the MSHSAA track and field championships at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
After a fourth-place finish at the sectional meet where the Lady Knights still advanced to state despite one of their runners falling during the event, the relay team was out to prove they were one of the top long-distance track relay teams in Class 3.
With high expectations heading into the event, the Lady Knights came through with a fifth-place finish in the eight-lap race in a time of 9:43.55.
Notre Dame de Sion won the race in a time of 9:33.35.
The top eight finishers in each race earned all-state honors.
Running for Borgia were Emmy Glastetter, Haley Russell, Taylor Nadler and Emily Grahl. Each athlete ran two laps in the event.
“We were definitely hoping to medal for sure. We wanted to medal. It was a definite goal,” Russell said. “A lot of people believed in us, so we knew we had to get a medal. Everyone ran really well. It was everyone’s best race.”
Glastetter was Borgia’s first runner.
“I was scared to death. It was way too fast. I would never want to do it again. I was really excited to get it out of the way,” Glastetter said. “It was my last race ever, so that was enough to get me through it. I thought I did the best I could.”
Russell ran in the second spot for the Lady Knights.
“I was really scared because I don’t think Emmy was able to find me when she was coming in. I started raising my arms pretty crazy telling her I was over here,” Russell said. “When I got the baton, there was a gap between me and the field.”
Russell paced herself in her two laps to make up some ground.
“I knew I couldn’t catch them on the first lap. The second lap, in the last 200 meters, I got rolling. It was nice to catch a lot of people,” Russell said. “I knew that Taylor would do great and hold it. I knew that Emily was our anchor and she’d be awesome. I had two good runners ahead of me.”
Nadler, who fell during the sectional race, but still got up and helped the Lady Knights qualify for state, wanted to run a clean leg.
“I got boxed in between some girls and just fell at sectionals. My whole goal today was to not fall. That didn’t happen, so that’s good,” Nadler said. “At first, I was really nervous. Emily reminded me I had nowhere to go but up, which really helped me.”
Nadler continued to make up ground for the Lady Knights.
“In the first lap, I knew that I had to just keep the base because the second lap was so important,” Nadler said. “I turned it on in the last 300 and passed about four girls. I just got rolling. I got it to Emily and she passed even more people.”
Grahl got Borgia into a solid fifth-place position while running the anchor.
“I had no idea what place we were in when I started. I didn’t count people in front of us. I just knew I had to go hard because the girls behind me ran so well,” Grahl said. “We all fought a whole bunch of nerves before we started. I knew if I kept it rolling after these guys that I would be fine.”
Grahl said her experience the day before in the preliminaries of the 800-meter run helped her in the relay race.
Grahl barely missed a spot in the finals of the 800-meter run, placing ninth in a time of 2:23.59. The top eight times advanced to the finals.
Russell also competed in the 1,600-meter run, but did not finish.
“We all learned a lot with my 800 that you can’t go all the way on your first lap,” Grahl said. “That helped us a lot.”