TERRE HAUTE — Plainfield’s Samantha Woodford finished 23rd at the 32nd Annual girls’ cross country state finals last Saturday held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute. Woodford crossed the finish line in 18:52 and made the all-state team by placing in the Top 25, making her the third girl’s runner in Plainfield history to accomplish that feat.
“It feels good,” Woodford said smiling. “I still have two more years to improve and can’t wait. I started out the way I wanted to. I like the course and it is very hilly and I am good at that.
“It’s a lot bigger than all of the meet’s I have been to. There are a lot of fans out here that like running and I guess it makes me feel like I’m not the only one. I look forward to next year.”
Plainfield coach Wes Woodson put Woodford’s achievement into perspective after her race.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for a girl at any school,” Woodson said. “If you can run top 25 here, you’re running at an elite level. It’s difficult to run at that level with this kind of pressure.”
According to Woodson, Woodford has gotten physically stronger throughout the season and has been a joy to coach.
“She put it together, stayed cool and moved up when it got pretty hot there,” he said. “She picked up 10-15 spots there in the middle of a course that will take it out of you.”
Woodford, a sophomore, has two more years to improve and Woodson believes as long as she keeps training hard, the sky’s the limit.
Woodford stated she would like to attend Butler on a running scholarship if possible and go into elementary education so she can teach and coach cross country and track.