That same team — the 800 relay — set the school record this year in a Sterling meet. It’s no coincidence that a Rus or a Cobert make up each leg.
“Having that record has been a dream,” Paige Rus said. “To have that relay and get that school record as sisters is icing on the cake. I feel like it makes us push ourselves harder because it’s probably the last year I’ll be able to run with (Peyton).”
Cobert added that there’s comfort in knowing E/P is bringing a big team to the state meet in Charleston, Ill.
Targets on their backs
“If you’re number one, your mindset somewhat is, ‘Hey, all we have to do is show up,’ “ Robinson said during one of his team’s final practices Monday. “I don’t think that’s the case here.”
After the rankings came out, showing E/P as the leader in numerous events, Robinson reminded his athletes of the edge they competed with when they weren’t on top.
“At the beginning of the year, we were kind of unknowns,” he said. “Then, when they won the state indoor meet by half a point, I said, ‘You’re no longer unknowns.’ If we can have them aggressive and thinking about chasing goals, then I think our chances go up.”
The message to stay humble appears to have sunk in.
“We’ve been practicing hard because we know that others are practicing hard,” said Paige Rus, a senior who next year will compete at Monmouth College.) “We just have to run the fastest we can because anything can happen at state.”
Rus spoke from experience. During her freshman year, she was an alternate for E/P’s state relay teams.
“I just had to sit in the bleachers and be jealous of others,” she said. “I really tried to tell everyone this year, no matter if you’re going as a competitor or an alternate, to take it in and use it as motivation. I used my freshman year as motivation. Seeing everyone up there on the medal stand made me want to get up there as well.”