“I just ran on trails when I ran and the coach (Todd Ruland) put a cap on how much I did,” she said. “I definitely did less than I had (the previous two seasons).”
The caution has worked wonderfully. Porter quickly became the team’s top runner, she’s placed first three times and she placed an impressive seventh at the Ocean State Invitational.
“She’s had a great season and I also think she’ll get better and better this season,” said Ruland. “She works really hard and has great natural ability and has that fighting spirit ... (but) we’ve been real conservative with training. After two years of injury, we’re not taking any chances.”
After missing two cross country seasons, Porter entered the season with a number of goals, including breaking 20 minutes for 5K, which she did in her first meet, and going with the team to All-State. But there is one goal that is most important.
“I want to stay healthy, that’s the big one,” she said.
Porter, an excellent student who is ranked 26th in a class of 188, is eager to continue cross country beyond high school, perhaps because she missed out on two seasons.
“I really want to run in college and I’ve talked to some coaches already,” she said. “It’s tough losing the two seasons. I would have had better personal bests by now so that makes it harder for the recruiting.”
Ruland agrees with that, saying that “By now she would be where (former standout) Becca Morse was,’ but he also believes that her best running days may be ahead of her.”
Sachems on rise
It’s been a difficult season for the Sachem girls, who have won nine meets the last two seasons. Losing Kelsi McNamara for the season with achilles tendonitis really hurt and Emma Marchant is just getting back in shape from tendonitis in her foot.