Under the helm of first year head coach Mandy Weiss, the Taft 7-12 High School cross country running pack has grown since last year. Several strong runners have returned to the team this season.
Weiss said she hopes to advance a boys and girls team to state.
Micha McLeash has been the hardest working runner so far this season, according to Weiss. McLeash said his goals are to place in the top 10 at state this year.
It will be all hard work as the Tigers prepare for the Prefonataine Classic. The team travels to Sweet Home on Thursday, Sept. 13 for the Husky Invitational. Taft then heads to Coos Bay on Sept. 15 to participate in the heavily attended Prefontaine Classic 5K where some of the most competitive runners in the state will race.
The 5k is a challenging, hilly road race, that covers a portion of one of Pre’s favorite training routes. The course begins in downtown Coos Bay at the corner of 4th and Anderson and finishes on Prefontaine Track at Marshfield High School. Some of the top runners in the state come for this 3.1 mile race.
McLeash said he hopes to lead the pack as one of the top male runners for the Tigers this year. Leading up to Sweet Home, McLeash 5K time is 18:43 (27th overall) at the Ultimook Race Nike Invitational Aug. 30.
The Tigers will host a home meet on Oct. 10.