Treaherous Footing - A Cross Country Experiemce

When I heard that the Gallup cross country running team was not going to particpate in the Grants invite race I wondered why. After all, Grants is less than an hours drive from Gallup. The answer I was given: It is too dangerous. I wondered at that statement until I actually got to the course and took a look at the conditions. Lots of rocks and lots of uneven ground. Loose dirt and erosion from hard rains. Plenty of places for an athlete to misstep and twist an ankle or injure a knee. Here are a few images from the race, starting with a shot of one of the climbs on the course, which runners had to pick their way through.

The varsity girls cross country runners climb up the first rocky hill Friday during the Grants Invitational Cross country meet at New Mexico State University in Grants. During the race the front 13 girls took a wrong turn and missed the third hill of the course, resulting in them running a shorter course and finishing with a significantly faster time. Officials had no choice but to disqualify the whole group.

Grants Lady Pirates Elaine Torivio and Samantha Morgan run at the front of the pack at the start of the Grants Invitational Cross-Country girls varsity race.

Boys varsity runners begin to string out into a line at the start of their race in the Grants Invitational meet held at New Mexico State University campus in Grants, NM. Thoreau's Dustin Walthall finished the race the fastest, with teammate Marcus Toya close behind in third place.

Thoreau Hawk runner Dustin Walthill runs the final few yards to the finish line, taking first place in the varsity boys race of the Grants Invitational Cross Country Meet.

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