When a cross country team runs as a pack, not one runner is more important than another.
In the case of the Sandpoint girls, truer words have never been spoken.
“We run well together and that’s what cross country is all about,” Sandpoint coach Angie Brass said. “If you can get a strong pack, that’s where you’re going to draw your power and strength from for your team. And it’s all about the team for these girls.”
Sandpoint is seeking a third straight State 4A championship Saturday when the state meets for five classifications are held at Farragut State Park, north of Coeur d’Alene.
Seniors Corinne McClelland and Claire Pierce, junior Rainey Woodward, sophomores Katherine Kull, Hannah Davidson and Sharon Rowe and freshman Niah Brass will be out to prove the cord is stronger than the seven strands.
The top five Sandpoint finishers usually run within 40 to 50 seconds of each other. Last week at the state-qualifying regional meet, Kull was the Bulldogs’ first finisher.
It’s been quite the comeback for Kull. She missed track season with a fracture in her hip. Then she was slowed by a stress fracture to start the season.
Still, Kull has consistently been Sandpoint’s front runner.
“Her body has responded well,” Brass said.
Kull can see her team standing at the top of the awards podium Saturday.
“If we stay as a pack and run for each other, we can push through and get the third straight (title),” Kull said.
For most of the area runners, Saturday will mark the third time they’ve been on the Farragut course this season.
Runners lowered their times by measurable amounts at regional meets at Farragut last week.
“That’s one of the huge benefits,” Brass said. “They feel comfortable and know the course well.”
Brass said all her team needs to do is keeping doing what it’s been doing.
“We need to go out and race with confidence and strength and pack up,” Brass said.
Here are the order of races: 10 a.m., 1A girls; 10:30, 4A girls; 11, 5A girls; 11:30, 1A boys; noon, 4A boys; 12:30, 5A boys; 1, 2A girls; 1:30, 3A girls; 2, 2A boys; 2:30, 3A boys.
This is the first time races will be held for 1A runners. They’ve been split from the 2A classification.
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