July 22 • 02:18 AM

Sawicki runs to 23rd in state, posts second fastest time in school's history

November 07, 2007
TRI-CITY AREA — Melissa Sawicki, of Capac, stopped the watch with a blistering 19:11.6 time (the second swiftest time in her school's history) en route to a 23rd-place showing last Saturday at the Division 3 cross country state finals.

Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, is where the action unfolded.

Heading in to the meet, Sawicki said she thought she had an outside shot of earning All-State accolades (given to the top-30 finishers in the race).

"When I got there I thought I had a chance to have a good day," Sawicki said. "The conditions were ideal for running a fast time," she noted.

Sure enough, Sawicki's suspicions would prove correct.

"I didn't plan on going out as fast as I did," Sawicki said of her lightning-quick 5:40 opening mile. "All I wanted to do was to keep the leaders in sight," she emphasized.

Melissa Sawicki, of Capac, races Albion’s Tre Washington to the finish-line during Saturday’s Division 3 cross country state finals. Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, is where the action unfolded. photo by Kevin Kissane.

"That gave me confidence and let me know the time I was running was good. I went through the two-mile mark at about 12:10."

The final mile-plus would see Sawicki's pace fall off a bit, though she was still able to pretty much maintain her standing among the 252-runner field assembled.

"I started to get tired when I passed the two-mile mark but so was everyone else," Sawicki said. "All I wanted to do was to not let anyone pass me and possibly move up some spots," she noted.

"It was a great feeling when I crossed the finish-line. I had made the top-30, which was a goal of mine coming into the race. The work that coach (Steve) Sampson made us do in practice all season had paid off. I would like to thank him for the time he has put in for our team."

Marie Burkland, of Almont, logged the next best Tri-City clocking that day. It took her 20:23.2 to cover the distance, good enough for 88th.

Her teammate, Lauren Deneweth, rounded out the list of Tri-City competitors on hand. Deneweth stopped the watch at 20:52.4 en route to a 123rd.

Sports Editor, Kevin Kissane has been covering sports for the Tri-City Times for over 20 years and is one of the most recognizable personalities in the area. Kevin when not covering anything from little league baseball to football, or softball to basketball, can be found on the links playing his favorite sport, golf.
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