In yet another excellent performance, Braden Sweet “drained the well” a second time in back-to-back weekends as he found himself among the most elite high school runners in the state of Indiana. On Saturday, November 2nd, Sweet became the second cross country runner in Southwood history to compete in the State Finals held in Terre Haute, also known as Cross Country Town USA.
With adrenaline and nerves at their peak, the cannon fired at 1:00 sharp sending 214 harriers off in a mass of color. Caught up in the mob, Sweet was unable to jump out to the start that he had strategically planned for. As the lead pack of 40+ runners ran in cadence through the first 2000 meters, Sweet found himself in 50th place with limited mobility to press through the crowd. At the 3000 mark, the race shifted gears. Remaining focused and undaunted, Sweet responded to the shift and began to push forward, passing one runner after another as he fought to gain position over those around him unable to hold the pace. In a fight to the finish, he crossed the line simultaneously with only 10th’s of seconds separating the exhausted competitors. In his first year as a state finalist, Sweet finished 35th overall in a time of 16:20. His performance at this elite level was a reflection of his mental and physical fortitude throughout the season, solidifying his position among the best of the best in the state of Indiana.
Congratulations on an outstanding season, Braden Sweet!