Bryan took long trip to get to regional meet |

Bryan took long trip to get to regional meet

Katie Bryan was determined to run cross country this year. Now, the Grand Valley High School sophomore hopes to use that same drive to earn a top-10 finish at Saturday’s Class 3A regional meet.”At regionals, I picture getting into the top 10 and making state,” Bryan said. “That would be my perfect race.”It’s a rosy outlook for a harrier who, at the start of the season, appeared be a runner without a team.”I thought about going to Rifle High School to run,” Bryan said after being informed that GVHS did not field a team.Those plans snagged when she found out Rifle held morning practices.”I was kind of bummed about it because I wouldn’t be able to make it to (Rifle’s) practice and get to school on time,” Bryan explained.Bryan reacted to the bad news with a plan of action.”I asked (GVHS athletic director Jeff) Bradley, ‘How could I get a cross country team formed here?’ He told me if I got five people together he would take the suggestion to the school board.”Rounding up the needed students, Bryan took another step to see her request come true.”My mom thought it would be a good idea if I wrote a letter to the board, too,” she said. The added request paid off.”I wrote the letter, stating my ambitions, and the school board wound up giving the team to us. Then people started to come in,” Bryan said.At one point, the restarted program boasted 11 runners. Ineligibility’s and volleyball reduced the team’s roster to four.But, given the opportunity Bryan’s time steadily dropped as the cross country season progressed.A 15th-place finish in last week’s Palisade Invitational boosted Bryan’s confidence.”It was a good run for me,” Bryan said of her 21minute, 9-second mark.”I beat my best time by two minutes. That’s the best placing I’ve had so far, so I’m pretty excited going into regionals.”At Delta, Bryan, the lone female Cardinals runner, will not have a support group to fall back on.”I’m strong and self-motivated. So it doesn’t bother me too bad,” Bryan said of being the only girl on Grand Valley’s team. “But last year, when I lived in Kansas, I had a team of really supportive girls, so its a lot harder for me this year.”Another barrier Bryan has to deal with at regionals is running on Confluence Park’s relatively flat course.”It’s a bit harder running because its kind of like running around a track,” she said. “On flat courses I just run and go for it.””It’s a bit harder running because its kind of like running around a track,” she said. “On flat courses I just run and go for it.”

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