Mikayla Stoudt has been exceeding her own expectations all season. And it continued at states.
Stoudt came into the season hoping to contribute to Parkland's cross country team. As a freshman moving up to such and accomplished team, she wanted to blend in and help the team score.
She did much more than that.
Stoudt was the Lady Trojans' top runner this year. She capped her stellar rookie season with a medal-winning performance Saturday at the PIAA Championship Meet.
After a successful middle school cross country career, Mikayla Stoudt expected a respectable freshman season at Parkland High School.
She didn't anticipate being one of District 11's top runners or to lead her team to its second straight district title. That's just what she did last week, taking third place in Class AAA at the annual district meet, held at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
"I was hoping I would do pretty well because I was undefeated in middle school," Stoudt said. "But I didn't know I would get third in districts."
Being able to salvage a good score on a day that isn't so good is what separates the average golfers from the great ones.
Chad Hess didn't do everything right at Monday's District 11 Championship Tournament, held at the Shawnee Golf Resort. But the Parkland junior managed to take third place in Class AAA, shooting a two-over par 110 over 27 holes.
"It was a scrambling day," said Hess. "When I didn't hit the fairways and greens I needed to pull through and hit the shots that I needed to hit.
Each year of high school golf, Parkland's Mike Perkins has advanced one step further in the postseason. This year he continued his progress by making it through the District 11 Championship Qualifier to advance to next week's championship tournament.
"I played pretty good," said Perkins. "The conditions were pretty tough. It was windy. I hit the ball pretty straight and hit a lot of greens."
Chad Hess wanted to win the Lehigh Valley Conference Tournament. And he knew if he played his best it was within his reach. But a steady breeze and a few shots he'd like back left him at 4-over par 76 and in a tie for second place Monday at Allentown Municipal.
The Parkland junior was awarded fourth place by a match of cards.
"It was a struggle out there," said Hess. "You lose shots, you get shots back. You just had to fight through it. I was grinding out there and getting the lowest score I could. I can't complain about 76."
Mikayla Stoudt is just beginning what could be a stellar high school cross country career. Trevor Bergen is trying to put the finishing touches on what has already been a great high school harrier campaign.
They both ran to top 10 finishes in Saturday's 34th Annual DeSales Invitational Meet.
Stoudt, a freshman who was fourth at the season-opening Lion Invitational at Moravian Academy, placed fourth at DeSales in a field packed with some of the top teams in the eastern part of the state.