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Remmers suffers cramp, takes 58th, looks to next year

Staff writer

After rocking over 300 high-fives, attending an exuberant pep rally, and receiving a police escort in a fanfare and sendoff to the 321A state cross-country meet, Marion High School junior runner McKenzee Remmers suffered an unfortunate surprise within the first mile of the race Friday at Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence.

It was a leg cramp; not the kind runners can typically shake off, but a cramp more akin to a proverbial thorn in a lion’s paw, only it couldn’t be pulled out.

Coach Rebecca Hofer said the cramp started in her right quad.

“She told me that it felt like her quad was trying to pull out of her leg,” Hofer said. “The cramp only got worse as she ran.”

During competition, McKenzee couldn’t stop to stretch or massage her leg to potentially curb pain for fear of falling behind and soon it spread to her calf.

The hilly course didn’t help her condition, but McKenzee kept a look of “determination and concentration” on her face, Hofer said.

“I could tell she was hurting, because she quickly fell back from where she typically ran,” Hofer said. “She never stopped running, and in the end she pushed herself with all she had left, beating another runner by one tenth of a second.”

McKenzee finished in 58th place out of 99 runners with a time of 18 minutes and 17.40 seconds.

Even with an air of disappointment at not having the race she had hoped for, McKenzee still ran swifter than almost half of the best 321A runners in Kansas.

She and Hofer looked at race results afterward and tried to guess where McKenzee would have placed if the situation were different and she’d not had cramp complications.

“From the times and placing of the girls that McKenzee ran with or has beaten all season, I think she would have placed in the top 15,” Hofer said. “She will get it next year.”

Last modified Nov. 6, 2014

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