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November 1, 2013

Howard County quartet takes aim at XC state meet

Thor is in girls race; Duke, Breedlove, Grider are in boys race.

From a competition standpoint, Northwestern senior Taryn Thor doesn’t possess the same pedigree as some of the runners of her ilk.

She’s only been running competitively for four years, but that hasn’t stopped her from developing herself into an all-state-caliber runner in that short amount of time. She enters Saturday’s IHSAA cross country state finals will a prime opportunity to claim an all-state spot, which is handed out to the top 25 runners in each race.

“It’s been neat to see her do this from the standpoint of focusing on getting better and what she wanted to accomplish, and going out and executing that plan,” Northwestern coach Dave Stevens said. “She’s always been a very good athlete, but when she was younger she never really paid much attention to the running part. Once she realized she could do it, her thirst for it grew and she was able to focus all of that into her training. It’s been special to watch her do it.”

That drive has paid major dividends this season. The Purple Tiger took top honors in the Logansport Sectional in 18:15, and backed that up with a runner-up finish in the Culver Academies Regional in 19:02. A sixth-place showing at the New Prairie Semistate (18:41) would appear to put Thor in a realistic position of claiming a top-20 spot in Saturday’s IHSAA State Finals at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute.

”In her case, Taryn has just dedicated herself to get to state. That was her goal,” Stevens said. “She’s done everything she could to be prepared to get to state, from her diet to her workouts — everything was directed to making it to the state finals. She’s done an excellent job with that.”

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