Jon Huff | The Gazette
Anyone who compares the first two years of Vanessa Pasadyn’s high school running career will see similarities.
Both saw her as Brunswick’s No. 1, and both ended with a good performance at the Division I state meet.
But Pasadyn sees last year as a learning experience that set up her success this season and beyond.
“Last year, I was more of a follower,” Pasadyn said. “I’d follow Kristine Camper or Tara Horton because I didn’t know the courses well. This year I went in to races more confident, and that helped, especially at state.”
It also helped the sophomore become a two-time Gazette MVP. Pasadyn finished a season-best 18:58.9 to place 19th and earn All-Ohio honors. Just as exciting, the Blue Devils improved on their 11th-place finish of 2012 to claim the distinction of the sixth-best team in Ohio.
“We were really surprised by the team as a whole at state,” Pasadyn said. “We didn’t think we ran well. Then the coaches told us we got sixth, and I was really surprised with my individual finish. I wanted to be in the top 40, so to finish top 20 was nice. I learned from the state meet experience last year, and I went into the race knowing the course better.”
The performance capped a season in which Pasadyn never finished out of the top 20. She finished out of the top 10 only three times. Other noteworthy finishes included third at the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division championship and second at the GlenOak Invite and Avon Lake Early Bird.
Wins? There were two. Pasadyn edged St. Joseph Academy’s Maggie Wagner by a second at The Legends Meet. Two weeks later, she blew away her competitors to take the Medina District title.
“Winning the district meet was a highlight for me,” Pasadyn said. “Winning the Legends Meet was another. One of my goals this year was to win at least one invitational. As a team, when we won second at regional was exciting, then state.”
With two years ahead of her and a Blue Devils team that will return six of its seven runners, the future looks bright for Pasadyn. Lessons learned this year will turn into further improvement.
“The team improved at each meet,” Pasadyn said. “We went into the meets more confident. We pushed each other as a team this year and we worked together more than last year. Rebecca (Craddock) and Kristine (Camper) raced together. Then our other four would run together. We packed really well.
“I think the team is strong. We have a younger team that we got to build on this year. We are really strong as a whole. Next year we want the team to finish even higher at state. Personally, I want to make podium at state. Besides that, I just want to run faster on each course.”
Until cross country starts again, Pasadyn will have plenty to keep her busy. Apart from school work, Pasadyn is also an Academic All-Ohioan as a three-sport athlete.
“I started swim practice the Monday after the state meet,” Pasadyn said. “Then in March I’ll start for track.”
Contact Huff at email@example.com.