Bay’s Hannah Farver enjoyed individual glory at last year’s Division II state cross country meet. The Rockets senior finished 25th in 19:30 at Columbus to become the first Bay girl since 1981 to earn all-state honors.
But it was slightly bittersweet.
Farver’s team was left behind. The Bay girls failed to qualify from regionals after they missed the fourth and final qualifying berth — Van Wert scored 144 points, beating out Bay’s 147.
Had the Rockets qualified, it would have been the first Bay girls team to advance to state since 1995.
Despite the disappointment, Farver and company aren’t dwelling in the past. It’s back to business, focusing ahead.
“This year we have a big team and a strong team so hopefully we’ll make it to state this year,” said Farver, who stands 5-foot-3 and weighs 100 pounds. “Instead of only me making it as an individual, hopefully we can take the whole varsity this year.”
Bay has qualified to state six times in its history, including four straight from 1978-81. It finished fourth in Division I three times — 1978, ’80 and ’81.
“I enjoy being one of the team captains and helping out the runners,” said Farver. “There are three other girls (Stephanie Black, Molly Gorie and Megan Matthews) that are captains, so it’s working out very nice.”
Bay girls coach Joe Knap is impressed with his ace’s determination and leadership.
“She’s just a hard worker,” said Knap. “She’s got a great work ethic. She does it in a pretty businesslike fashion. She’s a good role model for the younger kids.”
Farver won the 2006 West Shore Conference in 19:28, the first Bay girl to win a conference title since Sarah Munro won back-to-back in 1980-81.
“She’ll take any advice I give her as far as what she needs to work on,” said Knap. “She listens, she’s receptive to suggestions. Whatever strategies we come up she listens to. She learns. She benefits from her experiences.”
Farver finished second (20:41) at the Elyria district meet and qualified to state by taking 12th (20:50) at the Tiffin regional.
“She knows when a big race is coming and what she has to do,” said Knap. “She gets nervous. You don’t notice it sometimes. She knows what she’s trying to do is at a pretty high level. She is certainly aware of the situation and has normal nerves, but that’s because she cares about it.”
Farver’s first race of the 2006 season set the tone. She finished second in 19:21 to a 2005 Division III All-Ohio runner at the Chris Green Invitational at Sandusky Perkins. It was a great shot in the arm for her.
“Just knowing that I was All-Ohio last year motivates me to be All-Ohio again this year,” said Farver, who has a 3.6 grade-point average. “Hopefully, this year I can be top 20 or even top 15 so that I can get a medal. I also want to win the WSC and possibly districts. The confidence last year’s state meet gave me motivates me to run and train even harder.”
She also has a great ace in her corner in her mom, Debbie, a former runner and 2:50 marathon runner.
“I’m lucky to have such a great coach and great parents,” said Farver. “Joe helps cheer me up and builds up my confidence when I might be feeling a little bit down about a workout. He always has the right thing to say. My mom also helped a lot, especially when I had an injury problem my sophomore year. She was able to share some of her experiences with me and how she dealt with some of her injuries.”
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.