If you’re going to run the fastest 5k of your cross-country career so far, it might as well be at the highest level of competition in the state. That’s what Blaine sophomore Parker Morris did at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco on November 9.
Morris ran 5,000 meters in 17 minutes, 24.7 seconds, beating his previous personal record by 13 seconds.
“He had a great race,” said cross-country coach Carey Bacon. “It was a very competitive field, but he ran very well. There was no weak point in the entire course for him – he ran hard the whole way.”
Morris’ time earned him 54th place in a field of hundreds. Bacon said the course, though uncomplicated, was challenging.
“There were a lot of subtle ups and downs and you had to manage your output well,” he said.
Going into the race, Bacon and Morris had set a goal of breaking 18 minutes. Morris did that and then some.
“I was really pleased with his performance, and he was too,” Bacon said.
In looking back at the season, Morris improved his times throughout the year, bouncing back from an illness at the beginning of the season.
“He was pretty sick at the beginning of the season, but it’s hard to tell if that had much impact on his season as a whole,” Bacon said.
The same trend of steady improvement applied to the whole cross-country team – both boys and girls. All 14 athletes ran their personal best at the Lakewood meet towards the end of the season, and many athletes put up personal record times in the post season.
“We made a lot of progress throughout the year, and everyone ran their best at the end of the year,” Bacon said. “You hope to see that as a coach.”
Bacon said he’s looking forward to two more seasons with Morris.
“If he keeps running in the off season, he has the potential to do big things next year. He’s a good second-half runner – he gets better as the race goes on,” Bacon said.