The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

Glacier Peak freshman overcomes jitters to win state in cross country

  • Glacier Peak High School's Amy-Eloise Neal (no. 500) won the state 3A cross county competition in Pasco. “The next three years is pretty excitin...

    Molly Van-Wagner photos

    Glacier Peak High School's Amy-Eloise Neal (no. 500) won the state 3A cross county competition in Pasco. “The next three years is pretty exciting,” the freshman said. Below, she embraces a teammate at the end of the race.

  • The Glacier Peak cross country team celebrates victory on the podium Saturday at the state meet in Pasco. Pictured (from left) are Sierra Wright, Bren...

    Molly Van Wagner photo

    The Glacier Peak cross country team celebrates victory on the podium Saturday at the state meet in Pasco. Pictured (from left) are Sierra Wright, Brenna Condon, Stephanie Jones, Amy-Eloise Neale, Katie Bianchini, Sarah Whybark and Tara Kingston.

PASCO — Even five-time national champions get nervous.
Despite coming into her first appearance at the Washington high school cross country championships with five Junior Olympic national track titles under her belt, Amy-Eloise Neale had serious pre-race anxiety Saturday.
But Neale, a freshman at Glacier Peak High School of Snohomish, fought through the tension and held on to win the Class 3A girls race — the first of what she hopes will be four straight individual state titles.
“It makes me think what I can do … the next three years. It's pretty exciting,” said Neale, who completed the 3.1-mile (5,000-meter) course in 18 minutes, 8 seconds during the 2009 State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course.
Neale used a strong finishing kick — one of her trademarks — in the final 100 meters to edge out runnerup Katie Knight of North Central, also a freshman, by 1 second.
“It did make me nervous … There's more pressure” at high school state meets, which attract large crowds and media coverage, than at summer Junior Olympic events, Neale said of her pre-race jitters.
Neale's coach always believed in her.
“I know she's strong and she wanted it,” Glacier Peak head coach Dan Parker said. “She wrote a pre-race plan that was excellent. She stated it over and over again: ‘They're not going to take it away from me. I'm going to win this thing.'”
Neale is the first individual state champion in any sport for Glacier Peak, a second-year school.
Although Neale was thrilled with her victory, she and her teammates on the nationally ranked Glacier Peak team were disappointed to take second in the team standings behind Shadle Park of Spokane. Shadle Park scored 59 points, beating Glacier Peak by just eight points. In the current 3A state coaches' rankings, Glacier Peak is No. 1 and Shadle Park No. 2.
In cross country, each team's five fastest runners score team points based on their placing. The lowest cumulative team score wins. Some runners qualify for state as individuals and their placements don't count in the team standings.
After Neale, Glacier Peak's top finishers were freshman Katie Bianchini (18th overall, 11th among team-scoring runners), junior Brenna Condon (20th, 13th), junior Sarah Whybark (27th, 18th) and senior Stephanie Jones (33rd, 24th).
Everett High School junior Chelsea Dowdell finished 11th overall.
More than 1,600 athletes representing 244 schools competed in the state meet on a sometimes-sunny but windy day. Competitors traversed the hill-filled golf course route in 11 different races.



Mike Cane: mcane@heraldnet.com. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.


All the stats

For complete state meet results, go to www.jcrawford.net/ccmain.html.

Story tags » SnohomishTrack & FieldGlacier Peak High School

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

HeraldNet highlights

Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
A community of kindness
A community of kindness: Seahawks home a display of affection for couple's daughter
Super snacks
Super snacks: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game
Being there to care
Being there to care: Visits to Children's Hospital inspire Russell Wilson
SnoCoSocial