By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
When she doesn’t win, that’s the real news.
And that’s because Neale, a finalist for The Herald’s 2010 Woman of the Year in Sports, has made winning commonplace. In 2010, for instance, her running prowess as a freshman in track and as a sophomore in cross country was about as dominating as any runner could ever expect to achieve.
In May, Neale won both the 1,600- and the 3,200-meter races at the Class 3A state track and field championships in Pasco. She clocked a time of 4 minutes, 54.82 seconds in the 1,600 and 10:31:75 in the 3,200. The latter time was a meet record.
Neale continued to shine, as did the entire Glacier Peak team, through the fall cross country season. She led the Grizzlies to a 1-5 sweep in the Wesco 3A meet in late October, and in November she and her team headed to the state cross country meet with high expectations.
Neither Neale nor the Grizzlies was disappointed. Neale claimed her second straight individual title and Glacier Peak breezed to the team championship ahead of 2009 champ Shadle Park.
Neale’s winning time of 17:31.8 was both a meet and course record on the 3.1-mile (5-kilometer) layout in Pasco.
Neale did not win every race in 2010. She finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional in Boise later in November, and then was third at the Nike Nationals in Portland, Ore., in early December. But her accomplishments for the year were outstanding nonetheless.