Ex-Glacier Peak star Neale wins Pac-12 XC championship

Herald news services

TUCSON, Ariz. — Former Glacier Peak High School star Amy-Eloise Neal staged a stunning comeback to win the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Friday, as the University of Washington junior helped the second-ranked Huskies to a second-place finish at Randolph North Golf Course.

Neale, a Snohomish native who won three state cross country titles at Glacier Peak to go along with three Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year awards, was trailing Erin Clark and Dani Jones of No. 1 Colorado until the final 10 meters.

“I actually didn’t realize it was quite that close,” Neale told GoHuskies.com. “With 100 meters to go I realized that I hadn’t lost the race yet. So I just really tried to remember all the speedwork we’ve done, and just tried to keep that in mind.”

An 800 and 1600-meter star in high school, Neale used that speed to overtake them both and cross the line just .04 ahead of Clark and seal an unlikely victory, given that she has missed the last two cross country seasons recovering from a stress fracture and IT band issues.

“To see Amy-Eloise Neal go win a Pac-12 championship in the manner that she did says a lot,” UW coach Greg Metcalf said. “She gets passed, she battles back. I’d say that last 100 meters sort of defined her last couple years. She never gave up, she stayed in it, she persevered.”

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