Mead sophomore Morgan Lu had just crossed the finish line in sixth place at the RE-1J Invitational cross country meet — an impressive finish in one of the biggest meets of the season for area runners.
Lu, once again, had proven to be one of the top runners in the St. Vrain Valley, and was asked how she felt about her performance.
“As good as I’ll ever feel,” she said, before smiling. “I mean, running is not very fun.”
It takes a certain type of athlete to love running. Lu isn’t one of them. She’s a soccer player, but she’s also not ruling out the idea that running could become a love of hers, as well.
“I’m starting to like it a little more,” she said. “More than last year, I think. The finishes are the best, because you’re done.
“Also, we have a bigger team this year and it’s more of a family and I like it.”
To this point in her young high school athletic career, Lu has made a name for herself as a dynamic soccer player for the Mavericks. There is no denying her talent as a runner, however.
As a freshman in 2010, Lu finished 36th at the Class 3A state cross country meet. Last Saturday, she finished 12th at the St. Vrain Invitational, then followed it up three days later with her sixth-place finish at the RE-1J.
Not bad for a runner who doesn’t enjoy what she’s doing.
“I do it mostly because I love soccer so much that I just want to be in shape for soccer,” she said of why she runs. “Plus, I found out that I was actually good at something, so I decided to do it again (this year).”
Positive results are not the only reason Lu is warming up to cross country. She said she has received a great deal of support from others in the cross country community, including Lyons head coach Mark Roberts.
Roberts doesn’t know Lu very well, but the long-time coach recognizes and appreciates running talent. Lu said she has heard Roberts cheering for her at races, and it was Roberts who first let her know last year that she had qualified for state.
Roberts’ sophomore daughter, Miriam, is also making an impact on Lu.
“So far, it’s turning out be a pretty good season,” Lu said. “My goal is to stay near Miriam Roberts because she’s just a beast at running.”
Lu is becoming a beast, too, whether she likes it or not. The way she’s going, don’t be surprised if soccer eventually takes a backseat.
“Junior and senior year, (cross country) might turn into more of my priority, I’m not sure yet,” she said.
MATCH OF THE YEAR?: Tonight, Longmont visits Silver Creek in girls volleyball. It may wind up being the match of the year in area volleyball.
Both teams are ranked among the top 10 in Class 4A and both believe they’ve got the goods to make it to the state tournament.
Another couple of events to keep an eye on this week include the softball rematch between rivals Frederick and Erie on Friday at 4 p.m. at Erie High School; and Class 4A golf regionals at The Broadlands Golf Course on Tuesday.
Brian Howell can be reached at email@example.com.