Anna Vogel was caught off guard on Tuesday after completing the SEC Jamboree 2 race in Northville.
“You want to talk to me,” she asked.
Well, you did finish second overall in the race and you are certainly on pace for a big season both individually and as a member of the Pioneers’ cross country team.
And your team did take first overall in the race. And you set a PR earlier in the year and have finished top 10 five times this season after finishing 49th in the state last year as a sophomore.
So, yeah, let’s talk.
“I’m not used to this,” Vogel said with a laugh. “This was always Anne’s thing.”
Anne is Anne Forsyth, Pioneer’s outstanding distance runner who graduated last year after finishing 15th in the state as a senior. So, let’s start with Anne.
“She was obviously really fast and a really good teammate,” Vogel said of her former teammate who is now running across the street as a member of the U-M women’s varsity cross country team. “It was incredible to be able to run with someone like that because she just pushes the whole team along. She would get loud at practice too and just make it such a positive place.”
Vogel still runs with a Forsyth and is very much enjoying that experience as well.
Sarah Forsyth isn’t quite filling her big sister’s shoes just yet but the freshman is more than on her way – winning the SEC Jamboree 2 on Tuesday and leading the Pioneers to some impressive finishes so far this year.
“Sarah and Anne have different personalities, but they are both fun to run with,” Vogel says. “Sarah and I have long conversations during the runs that we go on and during the race if I am having trouble getting up a hill I will hear her tell me that I got this or if I see her falling behind me I will encourage her to catch up. So we push each other. It’s nice because she is more my pace so I can run with her.”
And that pace has been pretty fast.
Vogel has been a mark of consistency so far this season for the Pioneers. After taking second in the A2 Run Co Fall Preview to start the season, she busted out of the blocks and set a PR time of 18:16.7 to finish eighth at the Benzie Pete Moss Invite.
“I have no idea where that came from,” she said of her PR time. “My mom ran 18:54 when she was in high school and my goal was to always beat her time. My best time was 19:06 before that so going that fast so early in the season was a big surprise. My mom was at the meet and told me as I was going through the line that I had the biggest smile on my face.”
She then had three top-10 finishes, including third at the SEC Jamboree 1 on Sept. 6. She ran 23rd at the prestigious MSU Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14 with a time of 19:02.3 and was seventh at the Jackson Invitational with a time of 18:33.6 on Sept. 22.
“I’m pretty happy with how my season is going,” she said. “I’m not sure I can break that PR this year but I just want to keep working hard, do well at practice and help the team.”
Vogel is still only a junior and she doesn’t see herself as a team leader just yet.
“Maybe an up and coming leader,” she says with a smile. “I’m not a leader yet. We have some great seniors who are doing an awesome job with that.”
In her senior season last year, Anne Forsyth finished 15th overall at the state finals with a time of 18:09.8 to help lead the Pioneers to a fourth-place finish with 180 points. As a sophomore, Vogel had the fourth-best time on the team with a 19:08.8. She placed 49th overall in the individual standings.
Seniors on the team this year include Mallory Dawes (who was the team’s fifth-place runner at states last year and 70th overall) and Ella Ryan.
The Pioneers were led across the finish line at the SEC Jamboree 2 last week by Sarah Forsyth, who took first in 19:19.71. Vogel was right behind her in second in 19:35.91. The Pioneers ended up with six runners in the top 11 places and took first overall with 22 points, a good distance ahead of second-place Saline (38).
“We would like to go top five at state but a lot remains to be seen,” says Vogel, who was second last year at the SEC championships in the two mile for track and field.
Vogel, who has a 3.95 grade-point average, says she loves all her classes, especially the challenging ones. She realizes finishing among the top teams in the state this year also is a challenge – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.