December 10, 2013 Updated: December 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm
It took Max Oliver some time before his girls' cross country teams at Pine Creek found their way to the top. Lately, the Eagles have enjoyed their view from the top and don't plan on leaving any time soon.
Pine Creek defended its 5A regional crown Oct. 17 for the team's third title in five seasons. The Eagles later finished sixth out of 24 teams at the state tournament at the Norris-Penrose Event Center.
"We enjoyed the success we had last year, and they wanted to repeat it," said Oliver, the school's 13-year cross country and track and field coach. "They wanted to repeat it. It took us until 2005 to win a regional, but since then, we're doing OK."
Without departed senior Heather Bates, the Eagles found their strength within. During the season, four different runners crossed the finish line first.
"We didn't have that superstar," Oliver said, alluding to Bates, who signed with Colorado last spring. "If someone didn't have a good day, someone else did, and that competitiveness really helped. Next year, we'll have a solid three girls coming back."
And that should keep the beat going as the Eagles continue to build a running dynasty.
Kevin Carmody, The Gazette