SPORTS HEADLINES

Runners prepare for Assault of Eagle Summit

By Reece Waddell | Published Thursday, September 6, 2018.
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When Decatur moved to its new high school over 10 years ago, the Eagles’ cross country team immediately took notice of the challenging hills surrounding the campus.

Instead of a flat surface to train on, Decatur regularly made the grueling climb onto Eagle Summit. Soon after, Decatur coach David Park said his team wanted others to realize how they trained.

So, they came to him with an idea.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“They wanted to run a meet up here,” Park said. ““That’s how this whole meet got its inception. The next thing you now, the Assault of Eagle Summit was made. They had as much to do with it as I did.”

On Saturday morning, runners from across the area will embark on Decatur High School for the Assault of Eagle Summit.

The race, which Park readily admits is not for the faint of heart, will begin at 8 a.m. Varsity girls 4A and under will run 3,200 meters. Varsity boys 4A and under will run 5,000 meters.

“I even put that on my note to the coaches — this is not a flat course,” Park said. “When they make their final climb, the last 1,044 meters is all uphill. And they will have taken a hill before that.”

Decatur swept the meet last year, as both the boys and girls took home titles. The Eagles finished with 45 points in the 5A/6A division and were paced by Alan Rangel, who clocked a 17:27.91. The Lady Eagles were led by Taylor Butler, who ran a 20:51.22.

Two weeks ago, the Decatur boys won the Greenhill Relay while the girls took third. Last week, Decatur finished 17th at the Marcus Invitational, but Park said his team’s times improved.

“Did we get beat? You bet we did. But we ran faster,” Park said. “In a race like that, you’re going to run faster or get sucked under. Like I told somebody, it’s the best 17th finish I’ve ever had. So, I like where we’re at.”

Boyd is the only other Wise County team that will participate in the Assault of Eagle Summit. The Yellowjackets won the 4A and under division last year. Connor Richardson ran a 18:15.11 to lead Boyd.

Park said although there is rain in the forecast Saturday morning, the meet will continue as scheduled unless there is lightning.

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