The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

November 3, 2012

Mustang Finley bringing GV back

Grand Valley’s Jessica Finley is the first Mustang girl to make the state cross country meet since Brenda Weaver in 1988-89. She is the first freshman from the school to accomplish the feat.

“We talked about it,” Grand Valley coach Kurtis Fisher said. “She kind of loves the fact that she’s bringing that back. I asked her if she knew she was the first freshmen (from the school to make the state meet). She just lit up.

“She’s living in it. She’s loving it. Right now, she’s trying to enjoy every minute of it.”  

Instead of stressing herself over the possibilities, the diminutive runner is just trying to enjoy the ride.

“Usually, I let things get to me and I feel pressured by it,” Finley, the daughter of Amy and Jason Finley, said. “I’m trying to take the approach to take what I can and just do it. I’m trying to enjoy it. This is something you don’t get every day.

“It’s a sport. It’s supposed to be fun.”

Finley’s fun will begin with the gun to the Division III girls race, slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. today at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

Trying to have fun with her racing is not new to Finley. It’s something she has tried to do all season long.

“That’s what I tried to do last week,” she said. “I really tried to enjoy myself and not think about (trying to qualify for the state meet). I’ll try not to think about (the race) until my feet are at the line and the gun goes off. You can only do something when the gun goes off.

“You can only do stuff when it counts.”

Already working on that way of thinking early in the season is a comfort for Finley, who used that approach to win the All-Ashtabula County meet.

“It helps to see that it’s already worked,” Finley said. “I know what’s possible if I relax and have fun. I had fun that day (at Lake Shore Park in Ashtabula Township), so it should be fun this weekend.”

Finley won’t be looking for a certain place this weekend. After all, that would mean her fate is decided by someone else.

“I don’t like to base it on place,” Finley said. “That’s basing it how other people do. I’d like to go out and run a six-minute mile pace. I usually do that for the first mile. I’d like to carry it on.”

Carrying that pace through the entire 3.1 miles has been something Finley has aspired to all season, even if she has fallen short at it.

“I try to keep up my first mile pace, but I usually lose it,” Finley said. “I’ll try and stick with it. It’s the last race. I’ve got nothing to lose. I just want something I can live with.

“I’d like to PR. I’d like to get out of the stinking 20s.”

When Finley sets her mind to something, she will do whatever is necessary to try and get it done.

“She’s got that thing you just can’t coach,” Fisher said. “She’s not going to settle for anything less than her best. What will help her is her approach. She goes out to do the best she can and will try and have the best race possible.”

If Finley, who has never run under 20 minutes, is successful in holding that 6-minute-mile pace, she will top her personal best by almost a minute and a half.

“It’s possible,” Finley said. “It doesn’t sound logical, but it’s possible.”

That sentiment might also be the best way to describe the freshman’s season.      

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Bearcat Gavorski on the mend

    Paying another visit to the variety store...

    On the mend
    Arguably the most decorated soccer player to every come out of the Star Beacon coverage area is down — temporarily — but anything but out.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribe Not quite enough

    Although the Indians are still very much mathematically alive in the race for a postseason berth, they continue not to look like a playoff team. And when they have put a run together, they haven’t been able to maintain the habit of playing winning baseball.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video