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Strong Finish for Cross Country Runners

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November 23, 2010 by wcobserver

By Susan McCarthy 

What they lack in numbers, they make up for in spirit and determination; both West Fork and Greenland had strong season finishes last Saturday at the 1-3A State Cross Country Meet in Rogers. 

West Fork’s Jassa Ferrell finished fifth with a time of 21:49, a personal best for her in a 5K race, beating out 45 other runners to be named All-State. 

“I was just excited,” said Jassa Ferrell. “My goal was to make All-State and I did that, to be in the top ten and I did that.” 

On Oct. 25, Ferrell, a junior at West Fork High School, ran first in the district 1-3A conference high school girls’ race with a time of 22:56. Her coach and dad, David Ferrell said his daughter is the first high school girl in West Fork’s history to take top honors in cross country. 

Ferrell is a cross country team of one; to compete as a team in cross country, schools must have a minimum of five runners, so she competes as an individual. This is Ferrell’s third year to compete as a cross-country runner, but doesn’t let the lack of a team slow her down. 

“I feel like I have to work harder than everyone else; that motivates me,” said Jassa Ferrell, who runs five days a week. She said she runs her longest work-out each week with her dad. 

“She just loves it,” says Ferrell’s mother, Kelly Ferrell. “She just goes out and runs. It’s just in her.” 

Greenland’s cross country runners are also lean on numbers; but their three runners, senior Drew Lee, and juniors Brandon Bohot and Tanner Weeks finished in the top ten and were named All-State in Saturday’s competition. Greenland’s fourth runner, Derek Punzel, was injured earlier in the season and did not run in the district or state meets. 

Only nine seconds separated Tanner Weeks who ran fifth in 17:49, Brandon Bohot finished seventh with 17:56, and Drew Lee who came in eighth in 17: 58. 

“They work with each other really well,” said Brent Jones, Greenland High School’s cross country coach. “They run together as a team, but don’t have enough to have a team. But that hasn’t held them back.” “It made us pretty happy,” said Weeks who said he joined his fellow runners in celebration at Golden Corral after the state meet. 

At the 1-3A district meet on Oct. 25 in Elkins, the threesome also finished in the top ten and again within seconds of one another. Weeks ran fifth, Lee seventh and Bohot eighth and were named All-Conference. 

“They’ve worked really hard and improved a lot since last year,” said Jones. “One didn’t even run last year; the other two improved a lot.” 

Weeks said they run five miles twice a week, spend one period running sprints and the other two school days running for speed at shorter distances. “Pretty much, we’re all about the same in terms of speed,” said Weeks. “We push each other…” 

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