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Pack’s McLawhorn takes 10th at Invitational

Cross country invitational meets are just that: an invitation to come run.  Sometimes no one accepts the invite.  That was not the case with the third annual Pam Pack Invitational on Saturday.
Fourteen schools and over 250 runners came to Washington High School to race for trophies and medals and this year the competition was fierce.
Competing at the Invitational this year was one 4-A school, three 3-A schools that competed at the state competition last year, two 2-A schools that placed in the top-ten at state last year and two 1-A schools that competed at state as well, along with a couple conference champions.
“It was a great turnout,” said Washington cross country coach and meet host Toby McMahon.  “It isn’t often that runners compete for anything but times and to better themselves.  Today, they competed for team trophies and individual medals.”
Although Washington High School has hosted the meet for three years, they have never brought home any hardware.  That changed this year as sophomore Anna McLawhorn took 10th in the girls’ race with a time of 24:00.
“When you go to an invitational the top runners either have experience running at state or they expect to go to state” said McMahon. “It was a good experience for Anna to be running with such quality opponents.”
McLawhorn helped pace the Washington girl’s team to a sixth-place finish.
“One runner does not make a team in cross country.  Your top five runners all score points so if you are going to be competitive you need five runners to do well and run fast” said McMahon.
The Washington girls did that with all five runners placing in the top half of the race.  Junior Callie Landen placed 35th, with freshman Kayley Sulc following close behind at 41 and junior Sarah Jennings in 49th.
The Pam Pack boys placed eighth, with all of their runners scoring less than 40 points each.
“In previous years we have had a couple good runners, but we have lacked depth so often we have a runner who had scored 90 to 100 points and that always hurts a team.  To be able to run five boys and five girls who can run together is a huge boast to the team,” McMahon said.
Another boast to the team is the number of young runners who are running well.  Of the top five runners for the Pam Pack only one, David Alvazrez, is a senior.  Junior Devon Van Cura was the first Pam Pack runner to the cross the finish line and finished in 25th place. Alvazrez followed at 35th, junior Raquan Davis was finished at 37 and Pam Pack freshmen Leland Hill and Win Martin were 38th and 41st, respectively.