Ask her what her strategy is going into the race...and she will tell you. "To win." She doesn't worry about time, she doesn't worry about who is in the race, and I don't think she has ever met a competitor she didn't think she could beat. And if you beat her today, she will still try and beat you tomorrow. Her confident style of racing and pure guts mentality is one of the reasons she has blossomed into one of the best runners in California.
Look at the past three WCAL championships and you will see quite a story. Her freshman year she came out for cross country because she ran a 6:40 mile in PE and thought it might be fun. She finished her first race in 24:12 at the Early Bird Invitational and progressed rapidly surprising the coaches almost every race. She finished with a personal best of 20:36 in the WCAL Championship to finish 28th over-all. She fell in love with running.
If you saw her at school in the off season she always had her running shoes with her. After-all, there might be time to get in a mile or two before her parents picked her up. Running was what she felt God had blessed her to do, and most of all she loved doing it. That next year she trained hard that summer and had an amazing sophomore year. She broke through into an elite runner finishing 2nd in WCAL in 19:10. But she wasn't done there, she went on to finish 4th in CCS and 31st in the State Championship.
So when Wednesday rolled around and the team made its way to the WCAL Championship at Crystal Springs there was Lira, once again dawning a San Francisco Giants hat, once again with not a lot to say. She was going to go for it, no matter the conditions, no matter who was in the race. With the advice from Coach to not lead the first mile thrown out after the first 1/4 mile into the race, she put the hammer down and led wire to wire. It worked, she won her first WCAL Championship in a time of 18:21, which places her #2 on the team's all-time list.
But she is not done yet, nor does she have a lot to say about it. "I don't really know what to say," Morgan Lira said after being asked to comment on her race. "I just go out and run and try to win."
That simple approach has served her well and November 13th you had better bet she once again is going for the win. Whether that will happen or not only time will tell, but one thing is for sure whoever wins is going to have to endure three grueling miles.
Boys & Girls WCAL Recap
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