South Pas High girls star Sydney Morrow did, in fact, compete in the Foot Locker Cross Country West Region Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Saturday.
There had been some doubt about whether Morrow had anything left in the tank after she finished 27th (out of more than 200 runners) the week before at the CIF state meet, which followed a long, grueling — but successful — season.
But as she’s time and again, Morrow showed heart. She finished in 60th place (among more than 100 girls), with a time of 18 minutes and 32.7 seconds.
“The week going up to it, I was kind of unsure,’’ she said. “On Monday, I wasn’t planning on doing it because I was going to move on to track and have somewhat of a fresh slate.
“Coach told me, ‘We’re just going to run this week and see how you feel, and we’ll decide at the end of the week,’ and on Wednesday, I was feeling really good and I decided I was going for it, but maybe not try my hardest.
“That’s kind of what I told myself. When I got to the race, I still had that mindset, but when the race started, I did try my hardest — and I did well. I think I got 11 seconds off my [personal record], so that’s pretty good considering I didn’t train too much the week beforehand.”
Morrow was a standout for the girls team and was the only South Pas runner to compete in the CIF state meet.
Head coach Michael Parkinson said Morrow did awesome.
“Number one, we’re talking the western United States, and she got 60th. She got 27th in the state of California in Division 4,” he said. “Sydney came in and we didn’t have a lot of expectations. We were tired from the whole season — let’s just go have fun. I thought she did well and competed well, and she got some regional championship experience, so as a sophomore, it’s going to be great experience for next year. Next year, she won’t be afraid of it and won’t be intimidated by it.”
She has had a great season — finishing third in each of the Rio Hondo League meets; fourth at the Clovis Invitational and setting a South Pas record for the 5K; third at the Mount San Antonio College Invitational and setting a school record for 2.93 miles; first at the Apache Invitational; fifth at the CIF Southern Section Preliminary race; and sixth at the CIF-SS Finals to move on to state.
Morrow’s cross-country season is over but she finished it on a high note.
“I think if anything, this season gave me confidence for next season,’’ she said.