Runners battle heat, opponentsPublished 9:43pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Dowagiac girls cross country runner Charlotte Sievers crossed the finish line and walked straight into the middle school, which is a few steps from the finish.
The foreign exchange student from Germany went into the middle school to cool down. She didn’t expect to be running in near 100-degree temperatures when she came to the United States.
Sievers finished ninth with a time of 29:53 to lead the Chieftain girls in their Wolverine Conference tri-meet against South Haven and Comstock. Dowagiac beat Comstock, 18-46, and fell to South Haven, 15-50. South Haven beat Comstock, 15-50, in the other dual meet.
“It was pretty hot,” said Sievers, who’s a junior attending Union High School for only a year. “I didn’t do anything special to cope with heat. I just ran. I think I could have been faster, but it was so hot and I was like not this time, when it came to running fast.”
Sievers explained why she came to the United States.
“Everything I heard about the U.S.,” Sievers said. “I just wanted to come here. I love traveling and I wanted see how Americans live. I went to an organization (International Experience) and they found a place for me to live with a family.”
Leading the Dowagiac boys team was sophomore DeYonte Sullivan, who finished 11th with a time of 21:05. Dowagiac fell to Comstock, 15-48, and South Haven, 16-43. Comstock edged South Haven, 27-28, in the other dual meet.
“Real hot,” said Sullivan. “It wasn’t too bad getting into the woods, but once we started to get in the outer layer of the woods and out in the meadow, it was a scorcher. I didn’t have the best time. I could have been in the 20’s, but it wasn’t too bad considering the heat.”
Sullivan tried to prepare himself for the extreme heat.
“I drank a lot of water the night before and ate a heavy breakfast and a light lunch,” Sullivan said. “All you can do is just run after that.”
Dowagiac cross country coach Rob Lowe is working with a lot of new runners this year. The Chieftains lost four of their top seven boys and girls from last year.
“Everybody performed quite well today,” said Lowe. “I’m excited to see our kids grow. I just want them to get better each meet and learn during every meet. In cross country, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.”