Nathan started the day with another big PR, flying to a time of 18:53 and a finish in the top 12. This was the fastest time by any runner in the modern era of G-A cross country! Of the 14 schools at the meet, this sophomore would have been the #1 runner on nine of them.
In the girls' race, Grace had perhaps the most impressive race, as she cut another 1:01 off of her time from Thursday's meet for the 2nd best time of her life. She joined Nathan and Gina as G-A athletes who have improved their time at each of the past three meets. Gina was the first Lady Ram across the line with a 23:21, and a medal-winning 20th place finish. Sierra came on strong at the end of the race to finish as G-A's number two runner for the first time in her life. Bethy and Emily both ran their best times of the season and Emily scored points for the team for her first time. Megan fought through a frustrating calf cramp and admirably toughed it out to the finish despite the pain.
The middle school race was not a full two miles so it is difficult to compare finishing times. But nearly every middle school runner ran their first mile of today's race faster than they ran their first mile on Thursday. They all maintained the pace too and finished extremely well. On the boys' side, Blake earned a medal with a 19th place finish. Just behind him was Sam, who was the second G-A boy to finish, barely missing out on a medal. Daniel ran the 1.7 mile course in 13:59 which is mind-blowingly fast when considering that he ran the same course last season in over 20 minutes. His commitment to the sport and diligent approach to training have certainly paid enormous dividends and enabled him to improve significantly over the past year.
In the same spirit, it is worth noting a huge improvement from Zack over the past few weeks. On August 20 of this year, Zack's timed mile was a 10:01 at practice. Just a few weeks later, he ran a 8:43 in the first mile of the race today, then went on to finish strong. What an improvement in just a few weeks!
The last race of the day was the middle school girls' race, and G-A runners were a serious force in that competition. With 6th-8th graders running together, the Rams placed four girls in the top 12, as Lauryn (2nd), Hannah (3rd), Faith (10th) and Jacey (12th) made things look easy. Megan was the next G-A finisher, and if this meet had kept a team score, would have scored points for the team. Aleigha ran her race at a pace that was about 25 seconds per mile faster than Thursday's race. And Madison had SO much to celebrate as she finished the entire race without walking once--by far the farthest distance she has ever run continuously! Although the hosts did not provide team scoring, your coach took the liberty of calculating them, and the G-A middle school girls were the 2nd best team out of 14! This is despite the fact that there are not even any 8th grade girls on the team. Way to go girls!
Check back tomorrow for info on Tuesday's meet, Wednesday's (MS optional) bike-riding practice, and don't forget that PICTURES ARE MONDAY (bring uniforms to practice)!!