Cross country powers through soggy conditions

Dean Stewart Photography

Jacob Smithe, Staff Writer

The girls’ varsity team finished 11th at the Fleet Feet Invitational 5k Saturday, with an average time of 24:01, while the boys’ varsity finished 17th, averaging 20:58. The girls’ junior varsity team was not ranked because of too few runners, and the boys’ junior varsity race was cut short.

What had started as a race with a few large puddles soon turned into a mess of mud and lost racing shoes. The sludge on the course only got deeper and more stirred up with each successive race, though the girls’ varsity, boys’ varsity and the girls’ junior varsity played out without any accidents greater than the loss of a few shoes which succumbed to the sucking mud.

As the boys’ junior varsity began its race, however, there was a different problem. Only a few minutes into the race, nearby South Fork High School’s thunder warning alarms sounded, effectively indicating the race’s early ending.

“I was feeling really strong at the beginning of the race, and I was disappointed that they called us off of the course,” said sophomore Travis Hoibraten, one of the junior varsity boys. “We waited all that time, and we didn’t even get to race.”

The inclement weather was largely blamed for the increased times of all runners present.

“It was really muddy and wet,” said senior Sarah Day, the top girls’ varsity runner. “Our shoes were completely soaked before we even got to the starting line.”

Despite the adverse conditions, Day still managed to finish a close second in her race, with a finishing time of 19:16. She attributed her loss of first place to her recent illness.

“Considering I haven’t been getting the best workouts recently, I think I did pretty well,” Day said. “I finished two seconds behind the first girl. If I had been training normally I think I would have done better. I didn’t have my normal kick.”

With another week of training, however, Day is confident she will do better.

“I’m happy to be back since being sick,” Day said. “I felt a lot stronger on Saturday than I have been feeling, and I think I will be fully prepared for next weekend when it comes.”