After completing her cross-country race in the Brown County Semistate this past Saturday, Maya Hauersperger and her Seymour teammates said they had a good feeling that they had again qualified for the state meet.

When the official results were announced, the Owls had placed third.

“It was a good feeling that we got it again, but we were kind of expecting it,” Hauersperger said. “We were expecting at least second or third, up there with the other teams. We were glad that we beat Floyd, too.”

The Owls lost to Floyd Central by one point in the Hoosier Hills Conference meet.

Hauersperger said she is proud to have helped put Seymour in the map when it comes to girls cross-country.

“They know to look for Seymour,” Hauersperer said. “A couple of years ago Zoey (Johnson) went (to state), but she was just one person. It’s nice to have our team there.”

The Owls will compete Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, on the east side of Terre Haute.

Hauersperger said having a running club for elementary school students has strengthened the high school teams

“I know they started stuff in elementary schools, they have different running clubs, and they have them in middle school,” Hauersperer said. “When I was in middle school they didn’t have the Southern Indiana Running Club. I kind of wish they did because that could have been cool to be part of.

“They’ve added a bunch more stuff and that helps a lot whenever you know that new freshmen have been running, and they’re serious about it.”

This will be the second-straight year for Hauersperger and the Owls to run in the state meet.

“I like that course,” Hauersperger said. “It has rolling hills. It’s not the fastest track, but you can get really good times on it if you plan ahead of time and cut the tangents. There are a lot of turns.”

Hauersperger said she began running in sixth grade and recalled that runners had to run cross-country to do track.

She said she is pleased she has been able to stay healthy the past three seasons.

“My freshman year I had back problems,” Hauersperer said. “I ran the first couple meets varsity, and then I took the middle off, and I ran sectionals.”

Hauersperger said her career-best is 21:33, which she ran as a junior.

She said there are timers at the one-mile and two-mile marks at Brown County, and that helped her with her pace at the sectional, regional and semistate.

“The junior varsity can be around and they can yell out your splits, and that helps you,” Hauersperer said. “If you’re a little slow you have to speed up.

“I try to do 6:20 or 6:30 for the first mile, and then I try to stay on that for the second mile. The third mile, if I’m feeling good I’ll try to speed up my finish. You have to pace yourself. If you’re close to a runner that you know, you want to stay with them.”

During races, Hauersperger adjusts mentally and physically to the weather, especially if it is wet and muddy like it was for the semistate.

“If it’s wet, you know that you’re not the only one that it’s affecting,” Hauersperger said. “It is affecting everybody else so if your times are slow, everyone else’s times are slow.

“I like the heat. When it’s in the 60s and 70s that is really nice. When it’s cold it’s harder to breathe.”

Running is a year-round sport for Hauersperger.

“I just like running around my neighborhood and seeing people,” Hauersperer said. “Its fun being outside, and sometimes going out to Muscatatuck (Wildlife Refuge) and running the trails. I’ll probably run my whole life. I might try the marathon or something.”

She said she plans to take two weeks off before she begins her winter training because of lingering injuries.

Hauersperger also took some time off after track before her summer training in preparation for cross-country.

“You have a little break from track season,” she said. “At the beginning, we probably ran three miles a day every week day, and then at the end of July we did longer workouts and then we got more serious.

She said she looks forward to track in the spring, and she plans to try some different events.

“Last year I saw some of the seniors try different things,” Hauersperger said. “Last year I did mile and two-mile, and this year I’m going to try to do hurdles for a change. I ran the low hurdles last year in a relay.”

This season, the senior is also thinking about running in the 4×800 relay.

She said her brother, Daniel, had a big influence on her running.

They ran cross-country and track together for three years at Seymour High School.

“(Daniel) had a big influence on me,” Hauersperger said. “I would just watch him, and if he had a bad race he wouldn’t let that get to him. He would just focus on the next race.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Parent: Lenny and Maria Hauersperger

Siblings: Daniel, Luke

Sports: Cross-country, four years; track, four years

Athletic honors: Cross-country-most improved 2012; track- mental attitude 2014, regional qualifier in two mile in 2014

Organizations: National Honor Society, band, choir

Plans after high school:Attend college, study criminal justice

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite TV show: “Pretty Little Liars”

Favorite singer: Jack Johnson

Favorite movie: “Harry Potter”

Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Q&A” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Q: Why do you like cross-country?

A: “I like the team. It’s really nice. All the girls are really supportive. It’s a mental thing, trying to beat your own time. I like that more than beating other people’s times. I would rather focus on making myself better.”

Q: Does the weather play factor into race times?

A: “I feel like it affects you more in track because you’re going against the wind more. Sometimes, if you’re close behind someone they can block the wind for you. I’ve seen people try to do that.”

Q: What are some of your favorite cross-country courses?

 “Probably Brown County because it’s really a fast course, and we get to run there a lot so we get used to it. I’ve ran there a lot the last four years. I like flat courses. We ran at Carmel, at Flashrock, and I like that course. That is a pretty fast course, but this year it was muddy.”

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: 2015 IHSAA State Cross-Country Meet

Where: LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, Wabash Valley Sports Center (Terre Haute)

When: Tomorrow, 1 p.m. (boys), 1:45 p.m. (girls)

Who: Seymour’s girls cross-country team

Admission: $8 per person