The Murray Invitational stands out as one of the largest races on the schedule with more than 50 high schools competing. On Friday, Sept. 6, the Morgan High Cross Country team participated in the competition. The race is characterized by large crowds and many false starts. Several times before each of the rookie, JV, and varsity races, the starting gun goes off only to be followed by a chorus of guns several seconds later indicating someone has fallen and the race needs to start again. This is emotionally and physically taxing on runners as they sprint start several times before a clean start allows them to settle into a race pace. Add to this temperatures in the high 90s and the event can be exhausting.
Despite the challenges of running under these conditions, Morgan athletes posted some of their best times of the season. After the rookie and JV races, the varsity girls took on the 5K course through Murray City Park. Senior Candace Gunn again led the field for the Morgan girls with a finishing time of 21:04. She was followed by Senior Andrea Millburn with a time of 21:38 and Junior Nikki Wilson with a time of 22:40 to round out the top three.
The race concluded with the varsity boys competing in a field with nearly 400 athletes. After four starts, the runners were finally off. Junior Andrew Allen continues to show his leadership on and off the course as he again finished first for Morgan with a time of 18:32.
Coach Brennen Fuller was especially pleased with the performance of some of his younger runners and the promise they hold for the program’s future. Freshmen Colin Smith and Trenden Wilkerson were the next two finishers for the Morgan boys and broke the psychological barrier of 20 minutes for the first time. Their times were 19:57 and 19:58 respectively.
Even though each member runs individually, cross country truly is a team sport in training and competition. A big congratulations goes to all the athletes on the team who run hard every day in preparation for these events.