The Transylvania Times -

Murray Takes First Place For Lady Blue Devils Cross Country


October 17, 2019

Freshman Lucy Murray didn’t set out to win her first high school race at the United Way Invitational.

Competing against runner from over 30 teams, with 18 1A and 2A programs represented in the 1A/2A race, Murray was still recovering from a massive personal best set the previous weekend at the Wendy’s Invitational.

By the mile mark, Murray and her teammates Madeline Dierauf and Emma Coye had moved up into the top eight with the leaders in striking distance.

At the halfway point, Murray had moved up to third with the leaders less than six seconds in front.

A half-mile later that gap was gone, and Murray found herself in front for the third and final loop of the flat, hot course in Newton. The lead only grew from there, culminating in a time of 20:56, a new personal best.

“I was just telling her to enjoy the moment,” said head coach Philip Latter. “You never want to take those moments for granted. Seeing her up front gave her teammates a huge boost, too. We were tired from Wendy’s, but they showed a lot of grit to do what they did.”

Dierauf and Coye would fare well just behind in 22:03 and 22:05, respectively. Those times earned them seventh and eighth place.

Less than a minute behind, Isabelle Lefler (18th – 22:52), Erin Huter (19th – 22:57), and Summer Dysinger (24th – 23:09) rounded out an impressive afternoon, with Hannah-Grace Casey (24:06) and Hannah Janowitz (25:26) also recording great times.

“When you have five runners in the top 20 and three in the top 10, that’s a pretty amazing day against a field of this size,” said Latter. “It was nice to just enjoy the race and see all their hard work pay off.”

The boys had an equally successful day. Knox Witherspoon, as he has in recent weeks, mounted a furious late charge to move up to 11th place (18:00), with teammate Abdi Green one second behind.

That duo had help most of the race; Dylan Sasser (18th – 18:22) and Dylan Studt (24th – 18:44) ran the first half of the race with Witherspoon and Green. When combined with the solid depth of Isaiah Lefler (19:11) and Dominick Adolf (19:23), it gave the Blue Devils enough ammunition to place third overall.

“The boys broke so many barriers on Saturday at Wendy’s, that I was totally prepared for them to come out a little flat today, at least emotionally,” said Latter. “Instead, they proved their strength is their competitive fire. I could run them to the top of Black Balsam the day before a race and they’d still compete just as hard, even if their legs could barely move. It’s a great gift and one that I hope we take full advantage of heading into the postseason.”

The teams return to action Saturday night at the Starlight Reservation Run in Greer, S.C.


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