Nov 6, 2013 11:54 PM by Bill Halter
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - The Pac-7 cross country meets are on Thursday, Arroyo Grande is expected to win the girls race . The Eagles are the sixth ranked team in Southern California despite not having any seniors.
Arroyo Grande has won five of the seven events its competed in this season including the San Luis Obispo County Meet last week. The Eagles biggest win this season was at the Nike Pre-Nationals Invite in Portland, Oregon. "That's a good sign for the championship part of the season because they've been to big meets and they see what it's like to compete at the higher level" said eighth year head coach Sean Ricketts.
The seven members of the Arroyo Grande girls team are made up of three freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. "They are a very tight group so that means together they bond very well and then also they train together as a pack" said Ricketts.
"Everybodies just more comfortable around each other and it definitely helps during races because we're able to connect with each other and encourage each other during races" said junior Elizabeth Heyde.
Arroyo Grande's strength is its top to bottom talent. At the San Luis Obispo County meet the Eagles had the second, fourth, eighth, ninth and 12th place finishers out of 94 runners. Freshman Talley Hill has been the teams best performer this season. "I've pretty much been running since I was six or seven and it's taken up a lot of my time but it's been worth it" said Hill.
With a group of runners who will all be back next season the Eagles are working with a two year plan. "This year we want to get out there and compete, experience is what we want to get. Next year our goal is to win state and to try to get to the national meet" said Ricketts.
The boys and girls Pac-7 meets will be at Cuesta starting at 2:00 pm Thursday. The Los Padres League meets are in Santa Ynez on Thursday at 2:00 pm.
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