By: John Raffel
Freeland runner displaying remarkable improvement
Madison O’Deay is a senior Freeland cross country runner who has already posted her personal record this year and is looking to help the Falcons be competitive in the TVC this season.
Her personal best came at the Shepherd Classic when she clocked a 21:35.5. She took eighth overall in the first TVC race.
O’Deay has been a veteran varsity runner for the Falcons.
“She’s off to a great start,” Freeland cross country coach George Drown said. “She’s almost taken a full minute off her season best from last year. Anything that’s high temperature or high humidity, she doesn’t do well. The last two races, she didn’t have her best runs. But when the weather cooperates she’ll continue to drop that time.
“Her season goal was to run around 21:30 and I think she’s going to be around 20:50 It’s my coaching goal I have for her. She’s off to a good start, for sure. This the best year of her three seasons. If you look at her profile, she’s taken probably 13 to 20 seconds off a year. This year it’s almost 40 seconds off. She put in probably her hardest summer of training, as well.
“I do a relay every year and call it the Great Lakes relay,” Drown added. “It’s usually a team of my friends and past athletes that I’ve coached. I asked her to do that with us this year because I thought it would benefit her for this season. The relay is unique in that it’s a three-day event, the team runs 300 miles on the North Cøunty trail. We start in Oscoda and end in Empire. It’s tough terrain. She did that to kick the summer off and was to all of our summer conditioning stuff. Those things helped her to put into place having her best season.”
O’Deay also runs track.
“I think she’s capable in both sports,” Drown said. “I think she prefers cross country. The one you tend to gravitate more to is the one you tend to be the most successful at.”