Thursday’s odd results at the Corning cross country race carried over to the Lenox Tigers and their increasingly strong duo.
McKinna Hogan was caught in the turn on the course — that was mentioned in the accompanying Creston story — that sent her off the right path and led to her besting the time of teammate and pal Cassidy Nelson.
Neither were too concerned about the results afterward, as both continue to showcase a drive to compete for and with one another.
Hogan, who finished Thursday’s Corning meet in eighth officially in 22:17 and Nelson, who took 19th in 23:01 despite running much of the race in the top 12 or so runners, are both sophomores who are in their second year of cross country competition.
As both finished near the top of the field in races featuring smaller local schools last year, both realized that cross country may be a good sport for the both of them.
“We realized early in the season that we had a little potential because we had never run that far. We just started pushing off each other,” Hogan said.
After the first meet they ran at Corydon this season, Hogan was as close as she had ever been to Nelson in a race, as Nelson finished 18 seconds ahead of Hogan.
Both expect that gap to stay close, but wish to push one another to see if they can change that fact.
“This year we know what we were expecting. Last year we didn’t. Now we could do decent,” Nelson said.
By running the hallways of the high school, speeding around Lenox and incorporating coach Tom Smith’s workouts that include sprints, hills and intervals, the duo continues to rise in stamina and while dropping time.
Nelson’s motivation going forward? “Don’t let McKinna beat me.”
Hogan’s motivation? “It pushes me to get closer, to finish close to her,” Hogan said. “Last meet was the closest we’ve ever finished together. That was fun.”