December 22, 2013

All-Area Cross Country Team and Runners of the Year: Fraire charted a new course; Salinas went the extra mile(s)



Morgan King, Coahulla Creek: King made a big impact in her first varsity season, finishing fourth at the Region 5-3A meet. She ended the year with a season average of 23:29 and a personal record of 22:05. In the Chattanooga Area Cross Country League meets that Coahulla Creek regularly participated in, she was in the top third at all races; she also finished fifth at the Bruin Invitational. A runner who approaches racing with “aggression and strategy,” according to coach Dee Goodwin — herself one of the most accomplished runners in all of northwest Georgia — King is a first-time selection to the team.

Ana Padilla, Southeast: Good things come in pairs, and Bishop said pairing up with Salinas raised Padilla’s game in her sophomore year. Needing someone to push her, Bishop said, Padilla finished 20th overall at the Region 7-4A meet and had a personal record run of 22:17 this season. She was eighth overall at the Bruin Invitational and was fifth at the Big Harry, right on the heels of King. This is Padilla’s first selection to the team.

Nancy Paz, Northwest: At the region meet, Paz was Northwest’s top finisher, coming in a spot ahead of Padilla at 19th. She was third overall at the Big Harry in 22:15, and she ran a 22:47 at region. After losing four starters from the 2012 Lady Bruins, Northwest coach Tom Sell said he needed a leader to emerge, and he found it with Paz. Northwest missed advancing to the state meet by one place at region against competition that included three teams ranked in the top 10 in the state. This is Paz’s first selection to the team.

Katlyn Richardson, Murray County: In her first year running, Richardson made a big splash, taking first at the Bruin Invitational with a time of 24:42. She stayed at the head of the pack for the Lady Indians throughout the rest of the year, leading Murray County to the state meet. The Lady Indians finished fourth overall at region — qualifying for their first trip to state in decades — with Richardson setting the pace with an 18th-place finish overall. She was 59th at the state meet with a time of 24:03.

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