After 11 races prior in the day, the conditions of the course at Wickham Park in Manchester were less than ideal; however, when the girls class SS race lined upon the starting line, there was only one thing on Chloe Poulos’ mind: Victory.
With a time of 19 minutes 54 seconds, Polous not only won, but blew the rest of the field out of the water.
“I was really happy with my time and it was a fun race,” Poulos said. “especially with the conditions of the course. I had mud everywhere.”
The 5k course at Wickham is never easy even on a good day. The course consists of a tough uphill first mile and a long downhill stretch near the two mile mark. That is before runners face the “Green Monster,” a huge steep hill that they have to trek up about three quarters of the way through the course.
From early on Poulos, who will be running at Division 1 Siena next fall, had the race and navigated the tough course with ease. She made her move early and separated herself from the rest of the pack.
“My dad was taking the video at the time and I could hear myself asking where the girl was over and over again. I only took one look back the entire race, and it was right at the end to see how close the next girl was,” Poulos recalled.
That girl was over 25 seconds behind Poulos and she crossed the finish line in what she made look like an easy victory, even though runs like this are never easy.
“It took a lot of hard work and long hours to get to this point.” Poulos said. “I wanted to thank Coach [Jeff Lownds], my teammates, and everyone else that helped me along the way.”
This was the first time in Woodland History that there has been a state champion in cross country. Poulos, along with teammate Colin Slavin, both ran in the State Open’s Race on November 5.
Prior to the meet, Poulos was optimistic and excited for the opportunity.
“I am looking forward to the race and making my way to the New England meet,” Poulos said. “Both of those have been long time goals for me.”
Lofty goals, but for Poulos, not hard to complete. She finished with a time of 19 minutes and 21 seconds, a whole 33 seconds off her State Championship winning time and good enough for an eleventh place finish and a position in the New England meet in Thetford, Vermont. The regional championship will take place Saturday November 13th.