AHS Girls Cross Country: Impossible to win

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Cross-country running is a grueling sport. Team members are challenged twice weekly to strenuous workouts that include 10 sets of minute long hill sprints up the loop road, 30 minute high tempo runs along the ditch, or multiple sets of intervals ranging from 200 meters to 3,000 meters at North Mountain Park, not to mention the 3-8 mile runs on off days. But this year the AHS girls’ hard training paid off with a strong varsity team and first place team victories in 4 out of 6 meets. They entered the district race with great optimism and hope for the state race qualification. However the results were not at all what they had hoped for.

 

The Oregon 5A Intermountain District is made up of five high schools: Summit, Mountain View, Bend, Redmond, and Ashland. All are based around the Bend area with the odd exception of Ashland. Summit is the 4-year running state champion while Mountain View and Bend trail close behind. Since only the top two scoring teams at the district race make it to state,  Ashland has been unable to qualify in the last three years after joining the conference. As a result, teams from other districts around the state that are ranked  well below Ashland can make it to state because they do not face teams nearly as strong as Summit and Mountain View.

It is frustrating to watch Ashland denied its place in the state race. No Ashland girl has competed at state since 2009, the last season before the districts were rearranged to its current status. But there is hope for the Ashland girls’ cross country team. In 2014, when the conference will once again be rearranged,  Ashland will hopefully be recognized as a Bend outlier, get the chance to compete and prove it’s standing around the state.

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