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Originally published August 21, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified August 21, 2007 at 2:03 AM

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Preps | Jackson cross country gets off to a running start

The boys and girls cross-country teams at Jackson High School took a page from "Midnight Madness" basketball and got their season off to...

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The boys and girls cross-country teams at Jackson High School took a page from "Midnight Madness" basketball and got their season off to a running start Monday long before sunup.

About 30 runners showed up at Memorial Stadium in Everett for the first workout at 12:01 a.m.

"We figure that kids stay up late in the summer anyway so midnight wouldn't be a stretch for many of them," said coach Eric Hruschka. He said the workout was the idea of assistant coach Pat Haller, a former state distance champion from Lynnwood High School who was an All-American at Oregon.

Participants ran a total of three miles in various chunks. The last "piece" was a 1-mile run in which the top runners stayed together. Hruschka said Mitchell Briggs, Ben Lance, Derek Woolsey, Garett Ochs and Ian McLeod all ran a mile in under 5 minutes. Girls Allison Ponce, Stephanie Houck, Julliette Becker, Emily Fruland and Shannon Funke all were under 6 minutes.

The Jackson boys were WesCo South champions last year and finished eighth at the 4A state meet.

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