Grand openingPublished 7:57pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013
An overcast sky and periodical drops of rain proved to be the ideal conditions for the Washington cross country team’s first meet of the year on Wednesday as the Pam Pack boys placed first and the girls took second in the four-team meet.
With the sun tucked behind the clouds, Pam Pack’s first-year runner Victor Santos shined bright as the senior dusted the competition to take first place, running the three-mile course in 19.09.
“He tried out for soccer and didn’t make the team and (soccer) Coach (Jimmy) Kozuch recommended him after he ran an 11-minute two-mile in tryouts,” Washington cross country coach Toby McMahon said.
It was a good assist, as Santos took first and was followed by Devon Van Cura to give the Pam Pack the top-two finishes in the boys’ meet and a first place overall finish with 22 points.
Currituck placed second (61) and was followed by Edenton (74) and Riverside (81).
The Pam Pack girls earned 52 points and placed behind Edenton (36) and ahead of Currituck (57) and Riverside (67).
The team winners are based on each school’s top-five finishers and Washington was able to land the top two spots thanks to Santos and Van Cura, while Justin Clark finished fourth, Leland Hill placed sixth and Win Martin placed ninth.
The girls’ team was nearly as strong as senior Sarah Jennings won her first-ever meet, finishing the course in under 25 minutes to pace the Pack. Callie Landen wasn’t far behind Jennings and finished in third place, while Anna McLawhorn placed 11th, Marisa Gerard finished 15th and Alyssa Krajewski placed 18th overall.
Though the rain may not have been pleasant for the spectators, McMahon said the conditions were preferable for the runners.
“Honestly, a little bit of rain and lot of clouds is nice,” McMahon said. “It was a little bit humid but we’d rather run in clouds and than sunny and 90 degrees. It keeps them more hydrated.”
Riverside, the smallest of the competing schools, is in rebuilding mode after losing several runners from last year’s team but coach Mark Cagle said he was pleased with the effort.
“We are a smaller school of the three other schools that are here,” Cagle said. “We lost a lot from last year on both teams, but I’ve been really encouraged by what our team has done so far.”