The Russellville High School cross country team competed at the Class 1 District 3 meet at Linn Saturday, where the Lady Indians won the district championship with 31, while the Indians finished sixth with 127. Linn won the boys' division with 35.
"The girls ran their best at this race," Russellville Coach Craig Miller said. "I couldn't ask for anything more from them. When you get to districts and state, you have to have everyone doing their best to have success. Cassandra Carter has really stepped it up since Hannah Matthews' injury. Cassandra and Izzy Michitsch have been through this before and they know what it takes to win compete at the state level . The top three for our team are all freshmen, but they don't run like freshmen. Miranda Hill, Taylor Young and Grace Young have done this all year and there is no reason to believe they won't do it again on the big stage Saturday. My #6 and #7 runners, Jamie Smith and Kendra Jobe, did exactly what they were supposed to do, they finished ahead of Linn's #5 runner, Chamois's #4 runner and Vienna's #4 and #5 runners. We get to compete at state as team for the third year in a row and I know these girls are really wanting to crack the top four this year."
Nick Haslag led the Indians with 18:53 for a 14th place finish and will advance to the state championships Saturday.
"Nick ran a good, smart race," Miller said. "He moved up the entire race, starting out in 28th place after the 1/2 mile mark. We knew coming in that it would take everyone doing their absolute best, plus a little more to get the team through to state. Linn, Chamois, Vienna and New Haven are four of the better teams in Class 1 this year and only two advance. I think the experience of racing in these types of venues got to us today. All the other schools have had runners or teams advance to state in the last few years, we had not. I have four freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors, so they will all be back next year and I think they know how important it is to get in the summer miles before the next season starts. If they train together all summer, this boys team can have success at the district and state level for years to come. We have two talented eighth graders coming up next year and that will only make our team stronger."
Previously, the RHS runners competed at the Fatima Invitational at Westphalia Oct. 23, where the Lady Indians finished in third place overall, behind Blair Oaks and Strafford, while the Indians finished in seventh place overall.
Pick up the Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, issue of the California Democrat newspaper to read the full article.