BROOKLYN – Bailey Parmelee has been really good in cross country all season long.
On Saturday, the Greenville senior finished her career with a medal.
Parmelee was seventh overall in Division 1 at the state cross country finals at Michigan International Speedway, coming in with a time of 18:10.1.
“I thought it was really fun. It was a good experience,” Parmelee said.
Parmelee said she was in awe of the course at MIS.
“The speedway is big and it was a different course,” she said. “I thought it was a bigger course than it was because the speedway is so big.”
Parmelee noted the other competitors had a slight effect on her race.
“The beginning was hectic because there were so many girls,” she said. “I felt like I had to start faster than I wanted to.”
This was Parmelee’s first and last year of running cross country. She said she has mixed emotions about whether she should have started cross country earlier in her high school career.
“It’s hard telling because I really like volleyball,” she said. “Maybe it would have helped a little more if I had done cross country earlier. My second year of track I was a sprinter.”
Parmelee won’t be a sprinter this year either. Parlemee plans to run track and she will be a distance specialist.
Parmelee’s coach, Sharon Gianacakos, was impressed with her performance.
“She (Parmelee) just goes out there and runs,” Gianacakos said. “She was running against returning state runners. She was ranked sixth in Division 1 coming in and finished seventh.”
Gianacakos was also amazed by Parmelee’s progress.
“To come a short period of time and be successful is amazing,” she said. “I’m proud of her.”
Parmelee said the whole year was fun.
“I loved our team, boy and girls. Both our coaches were awesome,” she said of Gianacakos and boys coach Steve Rains. “I met a lot of other girls from other teams, too. Doing it for the first time was exciting. I was happy to be out there and running. I didn’t care how I finished.”
There were two other girls from the area in the finals. Carson City-Crystal’s Kaitlin Beyer was 53rd in Division 3, clocking in at 20:04.1. And in Division 4, Montabella’s Taylor Smith was fifth overall with a time of 19:07.6.
The only local boy to make the state finals was Central Montcalm’s Tyler Sleet. He finished 54th in the Division 3 boys race with a time of 17:00.5.