Washington cross-country takes conference meet

Published 1:19 pm Friday, October 16, 2015

CONTRIBUTED LIGHTNING QUICK: Sophomore Chris Sulc cuts around the edge of the baseball field in Wednesday’s meet against North Johnston and Southwest Edgecbome in Pinetops.

LIGHTNING QUICK: Sophomore Chris Sulc cuts around the edge of the baseball field in Wednesday’s meet against North Johnston and Southwest Edgecombe in Pinetops.

Submitted by Washington cross-country


Normally, the day before a race, the Washington Cross-country team runs four miles at an easy pace and calls it a day. However, this week, the day before the race was not a normal practice. The team ran close to seven miles at a fast pace. This caused the team to run Wednesday’s race against North Johnston and host Southwest Edgecombe with tired legs.

This challenge did not affect the outcome of the boy’s race, as sophomore Chris Sulc won his third race of the year with a time of 18:16, almost 90 seconds ahead of second place.  Junior Jacob Smith, 19:47, Senior Win Martin, 20:33, and Sophomore Tripp Bonner, 21:03, all placed in the top 10 to lead Washington to a 26-53-55 victory.

Junior Kennedy Landen won her second race in a row with a time of 23:19, more than two minutes in front of second place. Freshman Sara Spencer dropped two minutes from her previous best and finished in 27:53 to be the second Pam Pack girl to cross the finish line,  while Sophomore Anna Frisbie also made a top 10 finish. The girls beat Southwest Edgecombe, but lost to North Johnston, 27-33. Tired legs for the girls were definitely a factor. Coach Toby McMahon said he was not concerned about Wednesday’s meet, but rather the conference meet next week.

“When I decided on the workout for Tuesday, I knew it would probably cost the girls the meet, but I think running tired is going to help them next week,” he said. “It was a price I think we needed to pay.”

Unlike other sports, where the regular season determines the conference champion, cross-country is a little different. The conference champion is determined at the conference meet: a winner-take-all race, which will be held at Washington High School on Wednesday Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m.  Sulc and Landen are both in the race for Eastern Plains Conference Runner of the Year. Traditionally, the winner of the conference race wins the title. Sulc and Landen are both ranked third going into the race, with Sulc having beaten both runners ahead of him at some point in the season. Running on their home course is going to be an advantage for the runners.

“Chris has raced well against the other two top runners. He beat one of them last week, and the other three weeks ago. Only 10 seconds separates the three of them,” McMahon said. “Running on a course that is familiar to our runners allows them to think about the other competitors, not what is coming up on the course, or how far to the finish line. Since they run part of the course each day, they know where everything is.”

The Pam Pack boys are looking for their first team title since 1995, while the girls are looking for their second in three years. They are also looking for their first individual titles and Runner-of-the-Year winners since the 1990s. Their entire season will be determined next Wednesday. At that time, the Pack will see if the thousands of miles that they have run this season will pay off.