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High School Sports

High School Sports

Familiarity of Rim Rock helps LHS, Free State runners

September 26, 2010

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Over 3,000 athletes competed Saturday at the Rim Rock Invitational, making for a quite a festive occasion.

Area runners compete in high school classic

Area high school athletes were showcased during the weekend in the annual High School Cross Country Classic. Runners from Free State and LHS competed in the meet. Enlarge video

A member of the Lawrence High cross country team (no. 1956) cools down after competing in the Jayhawk Invitational held Saturday at Rim Rock Farm.

A member of the Lawrence High cross country team (no. 1956) cools down after competing in the Jayhawk Invitational held Saturday at Rim Rock Farm.

A member of the Free State cross country team (no. 2012) competes in the Jayhawk Invitation held Saturday at Rim Rock farm.

A member of the Free State cross country team (no. 2012) competes in the Jayhawk Invitation held Saturday at Rim Rock farm.

A member of the Lawrence High cross country team (no. 1956) competes in the Jayhawk Invitation held Saturday at Rim Rock farm.

A member of the Lawrence High cross country team (no. 1956) competes in the Jayhawk Invitation held Saturday at Rim Rock farm.

Dozens of colorful tents and banners dotted the landscape at Rim Rock Farm, and runners from across the Midwest and their families awaited the various races by chatting, sleeping, eating and stretching.

Free State High senior runner Logan Sloan said that simply being in the middle of an event of that magnitude could be daunting.

“Everyone thinks that everyone here is an Olympian. They think they’re going to get lapped twice,” he said. “But the real good runners will keep their poise, just relax, and run their race.”

Sloan didn’t appear to be fazed by the massive crowd, as he placed 13th in the boys varsity 5K gold race with a time of 16 minutes, 16.3 seconds — barely a second behind the winner.

The Lawrence High boys team finished seventh, and Free State was 27th.

Lawrence High sophomore Gavin Fisher was the top placing Lions runner at 16:49.8, good for 36th place, and junior Ari Pelli-Nilsen was right behind him at 16:54.9.

Sloan said he used his familiarity with Rim Rock to break away toward the end — leaving those unaccustomed to the hilly course behind.

“The plan was to react to whatever the race was doing and get in that front pack,” he said. “From there, just build up and pass people along the way.

“That first mile is really important to keep poised and make sure you know what you’re doing,” he added. “Some of these kids come out here and run the first mile way too fast. They don’t know what’s coming.”

An all-important hearty breakfast before the race didn’t hurt.

“If you don’t have anything in your system, by the end of the race you’re going to feel like crap,” Sloan said.

In the girls race, Free State finished 19th and LHS 26th.

Two Firebird girls also used their experience running at Rim Rock to place well. Junior Lynn Robinson came in at 35th in the 4K girls varsity gold race in a time of 16:18, and Hayley Francis was just behind her at 51st after finishing in 16:31.

Veterans weren’t the only ones who ran well, though.

Saturday was Lawrence High sophomore Grace Morgan’s first time running the course, which didn’t stop her from running a team- — and personal- — best 16:28, good for 52nd place.

Morgan said her teammates gave her a heads-up about how the course was designed, but the key to her performance was staying within herself.

“I think I just concentrated more,” she said.

Morgan’s teammate, junior Michala Ruder, finished second-best on the team with a time of 17:16.

Comments

Catsonthepath 3 years, 6 months ago

Hop2lt- First off, I would like to ask, are high school students not capable of taking good photographs? Could you do a better job? Because if you can take a better photograph then please get out there and do so! Or would it be too early for you to get up on a Saturday... I've competed for Free State's varsity cross country team for four years and I'm now running at the collegiate level. In all four years at FS and even now in college, the Rim Rock Classic has had the greatest turn out of spectators than any other event I've ever ran in. Every other meet seems to lack in comparison and it is discouraging for runners. For a cross runner to go to their schools football game the night before a race and see the stadium filled with students and locals of Lawrence, and then go to a race the next morning where they look around and see no class mates cheering them on is very upsetting. So if you are not happy with the LJW's photo coverage, then maybe you should do these runners a service and go watch them run yourself. You'd be doing yourself a favor considering these athletes are competing in the toughest sport they can sign up for.

Hail2OldKU- Maybe you are unaware that the Free State head coach lives on Rim Rock Farm. This means that after the meet is over, he has no free time to simply, "shoot and e mail" to the paper. He is helping tear down an incredibly huge meet from the minute the final runner crosses the line. Trust me, I've helped set up Rim Rock for some cross country meets. Its very tough work. So tough that I once got 12 stitches on my fore head. Like I said, TOUGH WORK.

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Hop2It 3 years, 6 months ago

Yes, defintely disapointed by the coverage. I don't have any kids that compete in CC...but where are the pictures? Three pictures of unidentifed boys that could have been taken by a high school J student. Too early for someone to get up on Saturday? With this sport having both girls and boys teams, and often carrying full C-teams, there are a huge number of student athletes participating and their supporters interested.

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Triplehawk66 3 years, 7 months ago

You mean to tell me that the photographer and writer can't get on same page to identify Gavin Fisher and Logan Sloan in these photos? They were interviewed for the story! Secondly, can Ben Ward explain how it would be possible for 13 runners to finish within one second? The winning time was 15:30, so Logan finished 46 seconds behind the winner. Finally the event is called The Rim Rock Farm High School Cross Country Classic. These runners deserve a better story than this. Considering that Lawrence High is two-time defending state champ, you'd expect the LJW could at least get the basic facts right.

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