On one hand there have been times she hasn't had the full team due to tests and other senior obligations. But on the other hand when they are together, as they were in last week's Region 5-AA meet they can rise to the occasion.
"This was actually one of the first times that all of my girls have been able to run together as a team. It's been a different starting lineup throughout the entire season due to so many seniors and SATs and ACTs. So I was extremely excited going in to this meet to see what they could do when they ran together and they did not disappoint," Thompson said.
The Lady Blue Devils took four of the top five spots in the meet, including individual champion Ashley Camp, as they qualified for the Class AA state championship meet at Carrollton this Saturday.
Along with Camp, seniors Mary Everett and Mylee Connor have been four-year members of the cross country team. According to Thompson they lead not only on the course in practices and at meets, but also in things outside of running.
"The leadership, I have such amazing leaders on this team. Three of these girls actually started with the program four years ago as freshmen. They have been the three that have been consistently on the cross country team since their freshmen year and the leadership those three have provided has been absolutely outstanding," Thompson said.
This is the second straight year the Bremen girls have qualified for the state meet. Last year the Lady Blue Devils placed 13th in Class A after finishing third in the region. This year Thompson has her sights set on a top 10 finish.
"In looking at the times for the new [classification] we're in. We're up against some really tough, really outstanding schools this year. MileSplit has had us in the top 10 throughout the season. Going into the state meet we hope to stay in one of those top 10 spots, as close to first as we can get, of course," Thompson said.
No matter what happens in Saturday's 10:45 a.m. Class AA girls race, this has been a special group for the Bremen coach.
"This is only my third year to be with cross country at Bremen. For these girls to walk in back-to-back and get to run this state meet, especially with this large group of seniors I have become so close to — a lot of them I have coached in cross country, cheerleading and soccer — they play a special part in my heart. To be there with them this year, there just aren't words," Thompson said.