The 6th grade girls started the day a bit of nervousness but looked comfortable and confident throughout the race and finished the race with a new appreciation of this crazy sport. Faith started strong and never let up, finishing as G-A's top 6th grader with a time of 15:52 for the two-mile course. She finished in 8th place overall, and her time was better than most of the girls in the 7th/8th grade race later in the day. Megan E. ran an average of 8:38 per mile and finished in the top third of the race. Madison and Aleigha both ran at least two minutes faster than their target times as all four girls completed the race with plenty to smile about.
In the 7th/8th grade boys' race, Blake was the first G-A finisher as he crossed the line in 14:10. Sam was just behind him with a 14:21 and both boys finished in the top half of the race. Daniel clocked a 17:35, which is 5:31 faster than he ran the same course last season. Zack ran impressively consistent splits and beat his target time by over a minute for the race. All of G-A's athletes will have an opportunity to improve their times next week on the same course, although the times they turned in today may make that difficult to do!
After two successful races in the books, the bar had been set high for the 7th grade girls, but they had no trouble keeping the momentum alive. In a race of 7th and 8th grade girls, G-A's three 7th graders finished in 1st, 2nd and 6th place! Lauryn took the lead after the first half mile of the race and never looked back as she cruised to the win in 14:07. In her fist ever race, Hannah went out with the lead group and proved that she belonged there, finishing 2nd by a comfortable margin. And Jacey ran an impressive 2:08 faster today than she did on the same course last year, finishing in 6th overall. In order to be given a team score in a race, five athletes must finish, and G-A's 7th/8th grade group only had three. However, if taking the times of two 6th graders were allowed, the G-A 7th/8th grade team would have WON THE MEET!
The high school races featured an extra 1.1 miles per athlete, but the G-A results were much of the same. In their third meet of the season, every single high school runner ran a season-best time, many by wide margins. Nathan ran the fastest race of his life, cutting over 35 seconds off of his previous best to finish in a time of 19:12. His time was good enough for 17th place overall and he was the 5th fastest underclassmen in the entire race.
On the girls' side, Gina passed about 15-20 people over the final two miles of the race to finish in 23:49 and 17th place. Rachel was the next G-A finisher as she ran her best race of the year. Leah ran her fastest 5k in nearly two years, Sierra ran the third-best 5k of her life, and Ashley ran nearly a minute and a half faster than her previous best race of the season. Grace's time was 2:29 faster than her performance at Marshall and Megan chopped a whopping 4 1/2 minutes off of her time from that meet. In doing so, she broke 30 minutes for the first time in just her second ever race.
Cross country is a sport unlike most. It requires difficult, tedious training in order to be successful. It is not spectator friendly and even the few people who come to watch the meets don't always see the runners more than once or twice. It is a sport in which discomfort is common and glory is fleeting if not nonexistent. But hopefully today's successes offered a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction not only to each runner, but the parents who support them as they run all over Galesburg and Augusta six days a week. There were many achievements to celebrate and this team deserves a moment to delight in the progress made over the past few weeks and months. Until tomorrow's 5am run, that is.
Results from the meet are on athletic.net.