Strong finish: JFK third at State

November 2011 Posted in School, Sports

By Daniel Hammer, Kennedy High student Kennedy girls cross country team members Madison Sprauer, Sarah Frey, Bridget Donohue, Lizbeth Salazar Reyes, Lauren Stokley, Liana Bryde, and Erin Wall celebrate taking third at the state meet.

Kennedy High School varsity cross country coach Steve Ritchie thought his girls team would finish eighth to tenth place at the 2011 3A/2A/1A state meet at Lane Community College on Nov. 5.

But the team made school history by taking third at the state meet. The team finished first in its district.

“It was a total team effort. Each of our top five girls ran her best race of the year on Saturday. I don’t think I have ever had that happen in 14 previous trips to the state cross country meet,” Ritchie said, adding finishing third was a “surprise and the girls actually shocked themselves.”

Seeing the expressions of happiness and pride on the girls’ faces as they took the podium to receive their third place trophy was priceless, Ritchie said.

“For a coach it is pretty cool to see kids put it all together on the day when it counts the most,” Ritchie said.

For seniors Bridget Donohue and Sarah Frey, taking third was the perfect finish to their cross country season.

“It makes the last four years of hard work worth it to get this third place trophy,” Donohue said.

“We were all kind of awestruck that we did so well. It was amazing and a great finish for the season,” Frey said.

Donohue led the way for her team, finishing 15th out of 105 runners followed by freshman Lauren Stokley, 23; junior Liana Bryde, 35; senior Sarah Frey, 37; junior Erin Wall, 55; sophomore Madison Sprauer, 84 and junior Lizbeth Salazar Reyes, 93. Union High School took first place and Catlin Gabel finished second.

For the boys team, sophomore Dalton Susee set a goal to finish in the top 20 in state and did just that.

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