Thacher's Hatch outruns 'em
by Misty Volaski
Bessie Hatch doesn't toot her own horn. Then again, she doesn't
have to - her accomplishments speak for themselves.
As the top cross country runner for Thacher, Hatch traveled to
Fresno for the cross country state championships to battle for
the Division V top spot.
It all began when sister Bridie - still a record-holder at Nordhoff
for cross country - influenced Bessie to start running youth
track. In junior high, Hatch made a name for herself as part
of the first cross country team at Matilija.
By the time she got to high school, Hatch was hooked on running.
As a freshman at Nordhoff, she was picked to be on the varsity
cross country squad, where she ran "pretty well."
"I was really surprised. We made it to the league championship
at Dunn. I ran a 17:34. I was completely surprised. It was kind
of crazy. There's no obstacles. It's a flat (course) and you're
supposed to run a minute faster on (flat courses)."
After that accomplishment, Hatch moved on in her sophomore year
to Thacher, where she joined the cross country team there in
her junior year after finishing Thacher's horseback riding requirements.
While in her junior year she didn't qualify for state - but was
still No. 2 on the team - she said she really got pumped about
her last season of high school cross country. And that caused
her to push herself more than ever.
"Bessie has had a great season," said coach Theana
Hancock. "She is self-motivated, and was always looking
to improve. Bessie always ran more than was expected. She ran
longer, harder and faster. She isn't egotistical. Bessie has
worked very hard this season, and I am happy to see that her
hard work paid off."
That payoff was first-place honors in the Division V state run
with a time of 18:58. According to www.dyestatcal.com, Bessie
won by a significant amount of time, consistently pulling at
least a mile ahead of the pack.
"I didn't think I could make it (last year), but then I
thought, maybe this year I could. So I got really motivated.
I changed my mental attitude and I did it."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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