With time running out, Park City senior dashes past old record | ParkRecord.com

With time running out, Park City senior dashes past old record

Runner says feeling bad was a good sign

Park City High School senior Liza Greene sprints to the finish line of the Region 11 Championships at the Cottonwood Softball Complex in Murray, Utah Wednesday, October 11, 2017. She finished first for the Miners and set a new personal best — her first since sophomore year. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Liza Greene has been a big part of the Park City Miners cross country team since she joined it four years ago.

"From her freshman year, she was on varsity," said head coach Steve Cuttitta. "She's kind of a unique case because she's never run a JV race."

According to Cuttitta, Greene set a personal record of 19 minutes, 8 seconds early in her career. But since her sophomore year, she has struggle to repeat it.

"She kept saying, 'I'm getting slower, I can't beat it, I can't beat it,'" Cuttitta said. Then, on Tuesday, she finished the Region 11 championships with a time of 18:55.20, in a performance that was both serendipitous and unexpected.

For one, she was sick. Or, at least, she felt like it.

Then again, Greene also believes one cannot both feel good and finish fast.

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"A lot of the time in cross country, when we don't feel great in a race is when we do our best, just because we are pushing it so hard," she said after the race. "I always tell the team, 'You kind of have to feel like crap in order to do well.'"

It was also her last region race of her career and her second to last race with the team, so she was running out of time to set a personal record and beat a goal she set during her freshman year of finishing under 19 minutes.

"I was getting down to the wire," she said. "(I thought), 'If I'm going to make my goal I need to do it now,' so I'm happy it happened today."

Though the thought of not setting a new personal record had lingered over the past two seasons, Greene said it wasn't on her mind during the race. More than anything, she was just trying to keep up with her competition. When she crossed the finish line as the first runner for her team, a position she doesn't regularly hold, and collapsed in the grass and pine needles on the other side, she had no idea she had reached her long-standing goal.

Her mom found her and broke the news.

Cuttitta said watching her set another personal record was like watching her career come full circle.

"For her to run our No. 1 today was kind of special," he said.

For Greene, the finish was a milestone. She estimated she had cut two minutes from her first race of this season.

"I had felt so terrible," she said. "I wasn't expecting it at all."

The Miners varsity girls team took third and the boys varsity took fourth in Region 11. Both will advance to the state finals at Sugarhouse Park and Highland High School in Salt Lake City on Oct. 18.