NEW CARLISLE — The Eagle Camp summer retreat in South Hero, Vermont has been part of the Young Brust family since South Central sophomore Adelaide’s grandpa was 5.
Little did the Satellites cross country runner know how waitressing for a week would benefit her distance training, well, at least indirectly.
“It’s called the Green Mountain State for a reason,” Young Brust said of Vermont. “There are a lot of hills. I would leave work early and go get my practices in.”
While the personal commitment delayed the start of her school year by three days and her season by two weeks, it has served Young Brust well in the long run as she’s reached the mid-point of the schedule with a fresher mind and body.
“Trying to keep up with my workouts was kind of tough but coming back later gave me a chance to have more time to get in shape,” she said after finishing fourth in the Class A race at Saturday’s New Prairie Invitational. “I had more coached workouts. Working shuffled things a little bit but I’m back on track. The season’s already half over and this was just my second meet, so I won’t be burned out at the end of the postseason. I think I’m catching up. I really missed the team a lot. I like having that atmosphere. Mentally, I’m more ready to race.”
Young Brust finished in 20 minutes, 23.3 seconds to pace the small school contingent from northwest Indiana, an 11-second and five-place improvement from her freshman year.
“Last year, I had no idea what to expect,” she said. “You hear about the course, the hill. It was my first big invite. This year, I came in knowing what to expect, so I expected to do better. I’m pretty happy with that.”
After placing 68th in the boys AAA race last season, La Porte’s Mitchell Gits was all smiles with taking 10th this time around, clocking a 16:29.4.
“It’s my senior year, I’m definitely stepping up,” Gits said. “There’s bigger things to come on the course. I was thinking of it as semistate prep. Being 10th here was really solid, there’s so many teams. It’s literally my first time under 17 (minutes) on this course. It’s such an improvement.”
Gits was part of a three-man sprint to the finish with Valpo’s Jack Acton and Caston’s Mitchell Rans, crossing a breath behind Acton and a stride in front of Rans.
“I wanted to beat Acton, but at least I was able to pass Rans so I could be the fastest Mitchell on the course,” Gits said. “I didn’t want to use all my energy busting it out too early. The guys who beat me on the hill, I started to catch back up to get to my original position coming out of the woods. As soon as I saw the finish line, it was just all out.”
Marquette’s Jake Tarnow hopes his eighth-place showing in the A race (17:36.8) can be a corner-turner for his up-and-down season.
“I’ve been slow this year,” Tarnow said. “This is my best race this year so far. It might’ve been the competition. I told myself I was going to go out a little slower and pick it up toward the end of the mile, and it ended up working. I wanted to see sub-18, to get my motivation back, to know that I’m fine, and I’m just going to move up from here.”