Buchanan runners look to repeat 1-2 performance at State Championship
At the 2017 California State Cross Country Championships, the individual winner in Division I girls was Buchanan's Corie Smith - and right behind her, in second, was teammate Meagen Lowe.
"I still remember it exactly," says Lowe. "I remember crossing the line and like, Corie was right there, and we’re like hugging each other. I don’t know, it just kind of didn’t seem real to me that, like, that just happened.”
It was the fastest finish by teammates in the history of the state meet, and only the second time ever in the D-I girls race teammates finished 1-2.
"That was pretty special that day, that's for sure," says Buchanan head coach Brian Weaver.
Celebrating together that day was fitting. The girls are rarely apart.
Smith, now a junior, and Lowe, a senior, have been their own two person running group at practice for the last three years.
"So yeah, we don’t get a lot of alone time at practice," laughs Lowe. "She’s one of my best friends, and like honestly, I wouldn’t want to train or run next to anybody else.”
"She's basically my sister to me now," says Smith. "Running with her for these many years, and every single day for two hours a day. You get to know someone so well.”
Smith says their personalities mesh because they're both "really weird." But the amount of time they spend running side-by-side has not only made them closer, it's made them better.
"They complement each other in a lot of different ways," says Weaver. "Meagen has a little more flat speed than what Corie does, Corie has a little more strength, so they build off of each other when they train...but, they’re just amazing young ladies, they just like being around each other.”
Even at races, Smith and Lowe typically run as a tandem for at least the first mile, mile-and-a-half of the 3.1 mile course, working together and working off of each other.
“We’re great at supporting one another, and pushing each other to our limits," says Smith. "And I feel like having that comfort of her being there, really helps you throughout the whole rest of the race.”
Lowe adds, "It just kind of comforts you and then like, calms us down before like, you know, we really need to pick it up.”
Teammates leading the pack at any cross country meet is a rarity. To do it at the state meet, potentially two years in a row come this Saturday at Woodward Park...
“To have two up there, that’s a big deal," says Weaver. "You’d love to have one, and we’re the luckiest guys to have two, so it is pretty special.”