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Loggers to host virtual cross country race over Thanksgiving

By Ray Hamill — High school sports may be on hold right now because of COVID-19 restrictions, but that’s not going to stop the Loggers from a little friendly competition in cross country, all in a good cause.

Beginning on Friday and running for one week, Eureka High will host the Logger Gobbler, a two-mile virtual race.

Runners can complete the course at Cooper Gulch Park in Eureka at any stage through Thanksgiving and post their times online.

Registration is $5 and all proceeds go to the Eureka High cross country program.

“We’ve had a huge response to the Turkey Trot in the past and I’m hoping people will do this instead this year,” Eureka head coach Matt Messner said, adding that the Loggers have received county, city and school approval to hold the socially-distanced event.

The Eureka team has been busy practicing again for the past few weeks in preparation for the upcoming season, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in December.

And the response from the student athletes has been everything Messner could have hoped for after a long COVID-19 layoff.

“For me it’s the best team I’ve ever coached,” he said. “They’re super enthusiastic and very excited at the prospect of a season.”

The Loggers and the rest of the H-DNL received some bad news on Monday, when state health officials announced that the release of updated youth sports guidelines has been postponed, pushing back a potential date for a return to competition.

However, if any sport can compete safely and in a socially-distanced environment it’s surely cross country, and many states across the nation have been competing in the sport this fall.

“I’m still very optimistic,” Messner said of a possible season. “I’ve been watching states all across the country competing and I feel like we’re missing out on our opportunity.”

For more information on the Logger Gobbler or to register and submit your results, click here. 

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