By now, most of Fairmont’s fall sports teams have wrapped up their seasons. But the Boys’ Cross Country team and junior Maria Meredith are still running in post-season competition.
The boys, led by senior Brandon O’Malley, captured the District title on Oct. 24. The girls fell short of that goal, but Meredith qualified to move on to Regionals on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Troy.
O’Malley and Meredith have been setting the pace all season and they have no intention of slowing down now. “Now that it’s post season, it’s time to shine,” said O’Malley.
In order to get to State, a runner must finish in the top 16 at Regionals. O’Malley is on the right track since in previous years he has the seventh best time of 15:59 in Regionals. “We would really like to see him get to Columbus,” said Head Coach Pat Miller. “That would cap his career at Fairmont.”
To be a successful cross country runner, one must have a strong game plan and O’Malley has rather interesting tactics. “I try to make the people pay for going out of the gate too early,” he said.
O’Malley said his opponents are intimidated to run against him, which just motivates him more. “I’m extremely confident,” said O’Malley. “And some guys go to the line really scared, probably because they are facing me.”
Miller jokes about O’Malley being a “stat guru.” The senior knows tons of facts about his speed. “I have a mile race pace of 14 miles per hour,” said O’Malley. “I could probably beat a remote control car.”
Since O’Malley is a senior, this is his last shot at making it to State and capturing a State title. “He is running consistent and hopefully we can still get a few more time drops for him at the end,” said Miller.
As a senior, it’s a given that O’Malley has college on his mind. He’s looking at Vanderbilt University, Miami University and Ohio University. “He has the potential to be a good college runner,” said Miller.
While O’Malley has been tearing up the course for the boys, Meredith has been a standout for the girls’ team.
Along with O’Malley, she has great State potential, which was her main goal at the start of the season. “I have a good chance of reaching my goal of making it to State,” said Meredith.
She has a great mentality toward cross country and that helps her achieve many of her goals. “I am very determined and I try to have a positive attitude,” said Meredith.
Not only does Meredith succeed on the cross country course, she’s a standout in track. She has gone under 2:10 in her 800m and under 5:20 in the 1600m. “She loves getting on the track in the spring,” said Miller. “It seems to be a more comfortable situation for her.”
If these cross country stars do well at Regionals, their Firebird fans will be looking for them to put on a show at the State competition on Nov. 7.