MILFORD — Things looked good for Milford cross country senior A.J. Erdaty.
Fresh off a first-place finish at the Eastern Cincinnati Conference championship meet Oct. 17, he had the regional on his mind. However, what was imagined didn’t translate into action.
He finished 22nd in the Division I district race at Voice of America Park Oct. 24, 12 seconds away from the runner in 16th, the last spot for individual qualification.
“Everything was rolling,” coach Dave Ackerman said. “With the way things had been going, he probably thought he was going to finish somewhere in the top-10. What he mentally prepared for didn’t play out. He did not have a good race.”
According to Ackerman, Erdaty likely wasn’t thinking he’d have as many guys close to him at the mile-and-a-half mark as he did.
Also seeing Anderson’s Nick Stone, who he beat in the conference meet, pass him didn’t help either.
“When you see that as a runner, you start to panic,” Ackerman said. “After it happened, A.J. just faded. In the postseason, you can’t have any off days.”
Aside from the disappointing race, Erdaty did have a good season. Along with the aforementioned conference championship, he picked up the win at the Ross Invite, where he clocked the conference’s second-fastest time during the regular season.
“You could count on him to be near the front,” the coach said. “The closer we packed to him, the better we did as a team.”