By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Sprague High School Girls Cross Country team was dominated in the Girls Combined Junior Varsity and Varsity race Wednesday afternoon on their own designed course.
More on racing on their own race later, the Olympian Girls team were out front for the good amount of the race after the first air horn as the Lady Olys set the pace for the rest of the field.
It was like the Four Olympians of Sprague almost as they ran together for most of the 5,000 kilometer race, you saw them working in unison, supporting each other as they competed as one.
“I think it really helps that we’re all in a team together,” said Ellie Stuart. “Like I know this was almost a PR for me thanks to my buddies here because they’re cheering me along the whole way.”
“Yeah it was nice to actually run together,” added Ginger Murnieks. “It helps me mentally to have run with other people and have that encouragement to go on to help each other.”
Hosting these events are few and far between for Cross Country teams, most get a handful every year if at best. So hosting a event, even if it’s just a three-team event is awesome.
“Hosting the meet was really fun, we got to map out the course and everything,” said Jake Donnellan. “We got people from Sprague at different points on the course helping people get guided in their ways and it was a lot of fun and it’s good competition from McKay, South (Salem) and Sprague.”
There was some fun in mapping out the course like Donnellan said, but even the senior admitted that he wasn’t expecting the trail and the course to be as fast as it was.
“It’s a really flat and fast course. I didn’t think it was going to be that fast but before you knew it, lap three and even the last mile, I was like, ‘ah ok this is it’ and I started really turn that gear up and just went,” he started.
“We’ve been training on hills, hilly runs and really challenging kind of runs and a lot of elevation so when we do these kind of courses that are really flat, it’s just really easier and it feels better as a runner.”
The Olys will travel to the Meriwether National Cross Country Classic Friday afternoon at the Meriweather National Golf Club in Hillsboro.
Stats were not available as of 11:45pm on September 21. But will be found at http://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=121937#269 when posted.
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PHOTOS BY JEREMY MCDONALD