Carey’s Reinhart records top-10 finish at state meet

HEBRON — When asked what’s next for Carey sophomore Sarah Reinhart, coach Dean Kessler gave an honest answer: “I have no idea. I don’t know what her limit is yet, but it’s going to be fun to find out.”

That’s a scary answer considering the two-time state qualifier keeps getting better and culminated

her work this season with a seventh-place finish at the Division III state meet at National Trail Raceway Saturday.

Reinhart finished 19th last season as a freshman. She upped her game this year, finishing in

18:53. Springfield Central Catholic’s Addie Engel won the race in 17:47.

“This is pretty cool. I just wanted to do better than I did last year and I did, so I’m real excited,” Reinhart said. “I didn’t want to get out too fast because I didn’t want to wear myself out too early, but if you don’t get out fast enough you’ll get boxed in, so you have to balance that out. You just have to work around people to get into position.

“I knew what to expect this season, which is a whole big crowd running off the start line and last year I didn’t really expect that as much. This year, I knew what was going.”

At last year’s state meet, the course was a muddy mess, Reinhart said. This year, the weather

was cold, but dry, which helped the times.

“I printed out a sheet with the top 30 times in the state coming into the race. (Reinhart) was

coming in with the 15th best time in Division III, so I just would tell her ‘Here’s the girl with the ninth-best time or whatever and you’ve already beat her at regionals or at districts or at league or whatever.’ I told her to take that home and you do your homework.

“She came back the next day at practice and she said she could be top 10. I said that’s exactly

what I thought too, but I needed her to believe it as well. She’s put in so much hard work and she

deserves it. She’s sweet, humbled and coachable and I can’t say enough good things about her. It

all came together for her.”

Reinhart still has two years left and already has two Top 20 finishes at National Raceway Park.

So what’s next?

“I just have to keep trying to get my times down and keep improving,” Reinhart said.

The only other local girl at state was Lakota junior Reilly Cozette.

Cozette, who is a three-time qualifier, finished 44th in 19:55.2. She improved on her 52nd place last season, but hasn’t eclipsed her freshman season, where she placed 52nd.