Combs coming off impressive regional effort
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 10, 2005 - MILLER GROVE - Miller Grove sophomore Stormy Combs has one goal in mind heading into the state 1A cross country meet at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock - finishing among the top 10 percent in her first trip to the meet.

"To be in the top 10 percent and I would like to be noticed," Combs said. "I've got a lot riding on it because coming from a small school you can't really get into anything else other than running."

Combs comes into the state meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday off a fourth-place finish out of 155 runners in the regional meet. She was one of four Hopkins County runners in the top five at Humble last Saturday. 

Combs finished the two-mile course in a time of 12 minutes, 49 seconds as North Hopkins' Jessi Mannis, Sabra Thomas and Rosa Fuentes finished in the top three spots, and Combs said finishing fourth was a good finish for her in the race.

"I think I did good during the race," she said. "That was just cool and I had heard so much about the North Hopkins runners and for me to be up there with them was just cool. To have first, second and third and then me coming in fourth behind three North Hopkins runners was just great."

Combs' freshman teammate Ashley Miller was the closest MGHS runner in the regional meet finishing in 134th place with a time of 18:02, but could not advance to state as only the top 10 runners in the region qualify for the state meet.

At the district cross country meet, Combs was the 19-A champion at the race held at Lake Bonham, finishing in a time of 13:55, and Combs said coach Gary Billingsley has her running three-to-seven miles every day to get ready for a race.

"He makes me run three-to-seven miles and then he makes me do intervals, which are really fast sprints, and I am not a sprinter and those are just awful for me," she said.

Billingsley said he would like to see Stormy do well at the state meet and with a possibility of rain and with the inexperience of not running the state course prior to Saturday morning it could be a disadvantage for her, but she will be heading to Round Rock Friday to test out the course.

Combs said if she can get out quick in the first 200 yards of the race and cut 20 seconds off her regional time, she believes it will put her in a comfortable position for the remainder of the race.

I would like to be 20 seconds faster than what I ran at the regional meet," she said. "You have to get out there and I will probably sprint out for the first 200 yards and get my place up at the top and get all of the slow people behind me and try to stay up there and keep my pace up."

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