With a hard wind gusting across the Columbia while I crossed and a sky that threatened, if not promised to dump loads of rain, I headed to Castle Rock yesterday afternoon to shoot Ilwaco HIgh at the league cross country meet.
People were driving pretty slow due to the weather and it took a little longer to get there than I had planned. Thankfully this was the same site as the league meet last year and it was using the same course, so I already knew where the runners were going to be. I had staked out this little hill (above) last year but didn't get anything good, so I thought i'd try it again. This year the light and the sky worked out perfectly for this pic of Stephen Berglund, the Ilwaco boys top finisher.
Another shot I had tried last year is the one below. The elements didn't work out last time as I couldn't get one of our runners in frame with more than one other runner. This year, during the girls race, it did. It worked out especially well as Kelly Freese, who is at the top of the frame, had the best finish of the Ilwaco girls. I've never had great luck when it comes to cross country, for whatever reason. If I'm lucky I might get one good XC frame a year. Yesterday was defintely the exception. There can be a lot of down time before, after and between races, so I had my eye out for interesting or unusual moments, and there were some to be found.Prior to the start of the girls varsity race, Annika Wolters was taking turns giving flying high fives to a few of her teammates. In this one she meets up with Cameo Ulbricht.Speaking of unusual, as the girls were getting ready for their race and disrobing their huge warm-up parkas, this runner tried to see how many he could get on at once.Despite forboding clouds and a steady wind, we got lucky and the rain never really arrived. In the end though I knew I had to wait to get something that spoke to the emotion of the runners, as cross country can be a very draining and grouling sport. When I saw Cameo flop her head on Kelly's shoulder after finishing the girls race I knew I had what I needed.Next week the teams are in Lacey for the District meet at St. Martin's College, and then the state meet in Pasco. Unfortunately, due to the distance I won't be able to make those. But yesterday was easily the most fun i've had shooting an XC meet.