By ELLEN GREGORY
For The Citizen
It’s not every state-bound team that receives a police escort on the way back into town. But then, it’s not every season that the bus carries an individual cross-country state champion, either.
At the 2013 4-A State Cross Country meet held at Freeman Park in Idaho Falls on Saturday, senior Caitlin Elgan overtook Mollie Vitale-Sullivan, of Pocatello, within the final 600 meters of the race to surge to a three-second lead and the victory, clinching first place with a 19:29:21 time.
“When she [Vitale-Sullivan] had passed me earlier, I debated with myself – should I go after her? I decided to just go for it and determination took over from there,” said Elgan.
“The coaches and I had talked about the possibility of this during the season, but in the last few weeks it felt like more of a real thing.”
And with that, Elgan became the first girl’s individual cross-country state champion in Preston High history.
When team scores were tallied, the Preston girl’s team ran away with hardware, too, battling to second place with 102 points, just one point behind Sandpoint at 101. Pocatello’s squad came in third with 113 points.
This story is sponsored by FCMC Athlete of the Week.
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