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Kovacic spent summer running, winning



Kovacic
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Brooke Kovacic (click for larger version)
August 08, 2012 - While everyone else has been on vacation or relaxing at home, Oxford High School senior and cross country wunderkind Brooke Kovacic hasn't rested much this summer. She's been running nonstop since the school year ended, and she's only getting faster.

Brooke has had some pretty impressive finishes in the last couple weeks. Following up her top four finish at the state competitions in June, she won at the Meijer's Cherry Festival held in Traverse City on July 14. Kovacic (pronounced Ko-vak) took home first place in the women's division, finishing the 5k road race in 18:30.22.

Kovacic said the first mile was a little slow for her, and that she suffered from some tendinitis pain in her hip. The pain subsided though, allowing her to focus on passing the last two women in her way. When she did, she bore down and finished without a challenger for the last half of the race.

"When I start out I usually look slower than everybody else," Kovacic shared in an interview with the Traverse City Record-Eagle. "But then I work my way up and let my last mile be the fastest."

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This shrewd strategy must work, because she won again at the end of the month. On July 28-29 in Mt. Morris, Ms. Kovacic ran what she called a "crazy race." It's not that she ran in a crazy fashion, though; rather, the race required her to sometimes swim, sometimes jump, sometimes climb through mud--a messy, obstacle-laden crazy race, in other words. Kovacic wasn't daunted, however, and at 28:06 finished 1st out of 350 women in her age category, and 2nd of all women competing.

Kovacic is headed into her senior year at Oxford High School, and swears she's not thinking ahead to the Olympics just yet. For now she's focused on completing her high school career in fine form. Her goal is to finish in the top three at state this school year. To do so, she'll work on finishing her 5k in under 18 minutes.

She says she's not dreaming about making the Olympic team; for now, she's fielding recruitment calls from coaches across the nation. She's not sure where she'll end up for college. But at the rate she's running, she'll surely get there fast.

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