Miha Nambara struggles to her feet after falling 20 yards from the finish at the state cross country meet.

Nambara Pushes Through for Final Finish

Senior Miha Nambara’s legs gave out, but her spirit didn’t. Republic’s senior leader showed one more example to her younger teammates in her final race at the state cross country meet in Columbia Friday.

“The last half mile of the race, the girls in front of me were pulling away and that’s usually my move, but my legs just weren’t working. I told myself to keep them within striking distance so I could have a shot at medaling,” Nambara said. “As I rounded the corner for the long stretch to the finish, I was ready to do whatever it took to pass however many (runners) to place. But my legs were giving out on me.”

In the final 100 meters, Nambara struggled to stay on her feet. She fell about 20 yards from the finish line as other runners streamed by her.

“I couldn’t hold myself and I dropped,” she said. “With it being my last high school cross country race, there was never an option of not finishing. I was going to finish what I started.”

Nambara struggled to her feet and crossed the finish line without assistance. Although she had been running 27th after 3,000 meters, just outside the top-25 needed to earn her second career state medal, she finished 67th. And while Nambara is disappointed with the result, she knows her finish is indicative of what cross country runners endure to succeed.

“Even though my race wasn’t even close to what I had envisioned, I’m glad I was able to make it over the line. I think cross country is the toughest sport out there, and it takes a lot of grit to do what these runners do,” she said. “The sense of accomplishment I feel crossing every finish line is unexplainable. It makes all the pain worth it in the end.

“Right now, I’m still not happy with what happened, but I think when I look back on it, I will be grateful that I gave it all I had and didn’t give up.”

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