As a ninth-grader, Stinson running at state meet
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 11, 2004 - COMO - Como-Pickton freshman Bethanie Stinson has one goal heading into Saturday's state cross country meet at Old Settler's Park in Round Round - getting a top 25 finish in only her first varsity season.

"My top goal for state meet is that I want to get a top 25 position Saturday," Stinson said. "I was glad to make it in, but I wish that our team would have made it into the meet as well."

Stinson ran the two-mile course at the Class 2A, Region II meet in a time of 12 minutes, 22 seconds to finish sixth out of 153 runners Nov. 6 at North Harris County College in Humble. She qualified for state by getting in the top 10 in the region.

Stinson's teammate Martha Vellenga was the closest C-P runner in the regional meet finishing in 38th place, but could not make it into the meet as only the top 10 runners in the region qualify for state.

Coach Tim Butts said in the last four meets of the year, Stinson started running sub-13 minute times in her meets and her confidence started to show and that played a part in her getting to the state meet.

"I would like to be able to see how many freshmen are running down there in all of the different divisions because I have been told by a lot of track and field coaches that you usually get your best runs out of them when they are in their freshman and sophomore years a lot of times," Butts said.

Butts is also Stinson's father and has the privilege of working with her at home and on the track during the school day and knows that all of her hard work has paid off.

"It was great because Bethanie has been running since the seventh grade," Butts said "I know that she earned that position with a lot of hard work because I have been there every step of the way with her."

Stinson said she has seen the benefits this season since she gets to work with him in many different ways during the year and the practice schedule works for her to continue doing well in school.

"I think it has been easier for me since he can also coach me at home because he is my dad, and it has been interesting also to work with him," Stinson said. "We usually have cross country practices in the morning and I don't do any sports that require after-school practices so I can do homework and not have any problems with that."

Butts said in the years to come he expects to increase Stinson's training and hopes she can avoid injuries and improve during the next three years to continue heading back to the state meet.

"I am real proud of how she finished and I know that a lot of work went into it, but I think as she gets older she will have to increase mileage to keep up her stamina and keep her pace up to be able to run that two miles," Butts said. "I just hope that she can avoid injuries and stay healthy to get through her senior year."

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