Pack cross country finishes strongPublished 8:10pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013
On the biggest stage, the Pam Pack gave its best effort as the Washington girls cross country team placed 16th at the NCHSAA 2-A state meet in Kernersville, while Victor Santos grinded his way to a 34th-place finish in the boys’ meet.
It’s been a historic season for the girls’ team as it placed fourth in the regional to qualify for its first state appearance since 1988.
Though it was a new course for the runners, it did not slow them down as many of Washington’s athletes turned in their best times of the year.
“The state meet went well. Victor dropped about 40 seconds off his PR (personal record),” Washington’s sixth-year coach Toby McMahon said. “Most of the girls had personal records. Callie Landen was under 23 minutes and she was our No. 1 (finisher). Alana Jefferson was under 23 minutes, Anna McLawhorn and Sarah Jennings were both under 24 and Quanitra Boomer and Alyssa Krajewski were both under 27.”
Landen placed 77th overall and was followed by first-year runner Jefferson (78), McLawhorn (93), Jennings (106), Krajewski (125), Boomer (126) and Stephanie McMahon (128).
McMahon rolled her ankle early in the meet but decided to grind it out and pushed aside the pain for the final two miles.
For seniors like Landen and Jennings, the meet represented their last chance to achieve some personal goals and the duo hit their marks.
“Callie went out with a bang. She has never broken 23 (minutes) before. When she started out as a freshman she was running close to 30, but she stuck with it and she went out and her first mile (at state) was close to seven minutes. She really wanted to make a statement,” McMahon said. “Sarah Jennings was kind of in the same boat as Callie. Their freshman year we had a total of about five or six girls on the team, but they stuck with it and went out and recruited girls. It really helped the team.
“Sarah has never broken 24 (minutes) before and I think that’s always what she wanted and she finally got it.”
Santos may not have been the first to cross the finish line, but with a time of 18 minutes he was able to beat out a rival runner, which was equally as sweet.
“There was a runner from Beddingfield that beat him at regional and kind of rubbed it in his face and gave it to him a little bit at state saying ‘I’m going to beat you again,’” McMahon said. “… But (Santos) was able to beat the Beddingfield guy by about 30 seconds.
“That was his first question when he crossed the finish line. He was like ‘was he behind me?’ and I was like ‘yea.’”
McMahon said overall this season has been a great one.
“It’s been real fun,” McMahon said. “Overall, we won conference and we went to state and that’s what wanted.”