Saturday at the state cross country meet, junior Jimmy Talley, Cottage Grove’s lone state-qualifier, finished in 18th place. It was an improvement from his 58th place finish his freshman year and his 33rd place finish last season but for Talley, the final race of the season was a disappointment after having run the fastest time in 4A this season.
“It was just not a good race,” he said after the 5K.
Talley started out among the top runners but after the trip through the first mile’s “Poison Oak Alley” had dropped back to fifth place. As the race progressed, Talley fell back and finished in 18th in a time of 17:05. While the state course is not considered a fast course meant for personal records, running at LCC at the district meet, Talley ran a time of 16:04. In his first-place finish at districts, he defeated Marist’s Joey Peterson who took the individual title on Saturday.
“I knew I was going to be dead, I knew I was going to be tired. I didn’t know what to expect, I was going to try to go with my original plan but as soon as I hit the first mile my legs just got really heavy,” said Talley.
For Talley, in the run-up to the state meet, his training did not taper off but featured what he considered “the hardest week of the entire season” including multiple days running hills and a speed workout that saw him limping around school in pain throughout the week.
“In the week coming in to practice, you don’t want to let down too much, too soon. So you come in, you start the early-week with a pretty good workout and then as the week goes you kind of cut off little pieces of the workout,” said head coach Jim Settelmeyer. “There were some issues during the week where we cut off more of the workout then normal but came in where Jimmy was feeling pretty good.”
When asked about Talley’s comments about not feeling good as the result of a week of hard workouts, Settelmeyer said, “No comment.”
“It just didn’t work out for him on this particular day to do the run that he has been capable of doing lately,” said Settelmeyer when asked about what he would remember from this race.
During track season, Talley finished second in the 3,000 behind a 19-second personal best at the state championship.