McMahon discusses Pam Pack cross country

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Washington cross country is underway. The Pam Pack hosted a scrimmage with local competition last week and traveled to North Pitt on Wednesday for a meet.

Both the boys and girls have been on the cusp of accomplishing things that Washington hasn’t in their lifetimes. Because of that, expectations are a bit high for this season. Coach Toby McMahon would like to see a 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship brought to Beaufort County. It would mark Washington’s first cross country league title in over 20 years.

There’s a good mix of newcomers and talented veterans on the squad this year. Here’s what McMahon had to say about how things are looking early in the 2016 campaign.


On what he knows about the team at this point:

“We learned (at last week’s scrimmage) that we have a really good incoming group of girls. We have three freshman girls that placed in the top seven and two juniors that are running for the first time. That’s a good mix. The guys still need a little work, but we had some good performances.”

On returning stars in Chris Sulc and Kennedy Landen:

“Chris is the defending conference champion and runner of the year. Kennedy took second in conference last year. The girl who beat her graduated, so she’s the No. 1 returner. There’s a girl from Farmville Central that can race her. They’re pretty close.”

On expectations for this year:

“For guys, expectations are to win conference. We haven’t won conference since 1995. We’re ranked preseason No. 1, for what preseason rankings mean. We’d like to take a team to state. We haven’t been to states since 1993. We’ve got a couple of streaks for them. We’re ranked sixth preseason in the region and they’ve got to make the top four, so they’ve got some work.

“The girls, we’d like to challenge for the conference title. I think we can. We had Michaela Anderson at her first meet. She took third behind Kennedy. We have some newcomers that ran well. It was our first meet and in 90-degree weather, so it’s a little tough on them. They’ll get better. I think we can challenge and at least get Kennedy back to states.”

On getting over the hump:

“They’ve come close (to winning the conference). The guys have been second or third in the conference the last three years, and they’ve been in the top six or seven in the region. They almost, about three years ago, they took sixth at regionals and we were missing our No. 2 runners. So, we’ve always been on the cusp, but we’ve never quite gotten there.

“We pretty much just need to put the work in. We need to win the close ones. We’ve been in the mix, we’ve just never been able to get everyone together.”