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Lumen Christi Catholic High School runner Faith Smith won the Interstate-8 Conference cross country jamboree at Northwest High School by more than a minute.  Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(October 6, 2020 9:12 PM) Lumen Christi Catholic High School runner Faith Smith had a simple solution when track season was canceled last spring.

Just run more.

It appears to be working.

The LCCHS junior has won her last two cross country races by a combined total of 1 minute and 38 seconds.

Tuesday, she won the Interstate-8 Conference cross country jamboree at Northwest High School by more than a minute.

Her first-place result helped the Titans finish second to Marshall in the I-8 girls’ race. Marshall finished with 43 points, Lumen Christi posted 59 for second, Western was third with 74, and Northwest placed seventh with 196.

Battle Creek Harper Creek won the boys’ race with 45 points, Western was third (76), Lumen Christi was sixth (132), and Northwest was eighth (205).

Smith finished the 5K course at NWHS in 19:04.

“During the spring I did a ton of training,” Smith said. “I was disappointed that our track season was canceled, but I used it as motivation.”

The junior also has her eyes set on breaking the school record of 18:17. She unofficially broke the record by running 17:39 on a course that was “suspect” in Smith’s judgement.

“It is crazy to think about the possibility of breaking the Lumen cross country school record,” Smith said. “Someday I might be one of those girls Mr. Woolsey tells stories about.”

Woolsey – a nine-time state champion cross country coach – said Smith is “the real deal.”

“She is working hard, has goals, and has a positive attitude,” Woolsey said about the runner.

LCCHS looked as if they would win the jamboree as Smith finished first, teammate Madison Osterberg was second (20:08), and LCCHS senior Renae Kutcha was fourth (20:38).

Western runner Alyna Lewis finished third in 20:22.

But Marshall placed all five of its runners in the top 12 to take the meet.

Western’s Justice Prins finished eighth in 21:23 and Northwest was led by Aspen Tapley with a 35th place finish in 25:29.

In the boys’ race, freshman Cooper Singleton finished fifth for Western in 18:07; teammate Logan Coleman was seventh with a time of 18:27; Michael Rand of Western finished 10th in 18:32; Matt Hoop of Lumen Christi was 11th in 18:42; teammate Gannon Shore placed 18th in 19:17; Noah Brown of Western placed 24th in 19:51; and Payne Boulter of Northwest finished in 26th with a time of 20:16.

Runners from Western High School start the 5K race at Northwest High School. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

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