Half Moon Bay runner Logan Marshall takes off after giving up basketball

Half Moon Bay's Logan Marshall was a three-sport performer his first two years of high school, competing in cross country, basketball and track. He was a key member of the Half Moon Bay basketball team as a sophomore, but decided after his sophomore track season to quit playing basketball and focus full-time on distance running. "It was really a great experience to play basketball my freshman and sophomore years, especially playing varsity as a sophomore," Marshall said this week. "But after track my sophomore year, I felt I wasn't getting the results I was capable of and a lot of that was attributable to playing basketball in the winter and summer." Marshall has gotten off to a great start in his senior cross country season. He took first place at the first Peninsula Athletic League meet of the season, finishing ahead of a talented group of Carlmont runners in 12 minutes, 29 seconds over the 2.4-mile course at Westmoor High. Then, on Saturday, he placed third in his race at the Lowell Invitational, covering the 2.93-mile course at Golden Gate Park in 14:55. "I'm really pleased,'' Marshall said. "It's definitely nice to have results that show the kind of work you put in." Marshall said missing basketball hasn't been much of an issue, that he enjoys going to the games to support the team. "I realized basketball wasn't in the future for me beyond high school, but that with running I had a future in college," Marshall said. "I saw that elite (runners) weren't doing winter sports, and that I wasn't putting in as much time on training. I felt if I wanted to be a serious competitor and an elite runner, I needed to drop basketball and concentrate on running." Marshall saw immediate results last fall when he won the Division IV race at the Central Coast Section cross country championships. He lowered his best times in track to 4:22 in the 1,600 and 9:26 in the 3,200. "This year he should run in the mid-teens, if not lower," Half Moon Bay coach Paul Farnsworth said. Marshall wasn't able to train hard the summer before his junior year due to a sore knee. But he made the most of the past summer. "This was the first summer I got in base mileage, 50 miles per week with more of an emphasis on quality than quantity," Marshall said. Goals for the season? "My goal as an individual is to set a personal best on every course I run," Marshall said. "I'd like to win league and CCS and am looking for a top 10 finish at state. "Our team goal is to win CCS Division IV." cross country Area's top, early-season runners: BOYS Chris Foster, Los Gatos: Third overall at 3-mile Earlybird Invitational (15:52), second at the 2.95-mile SCVAL preview meet (15:53). Corey Gonzales, Harker: Sixth overall at Earlybird (16:02), second in his race at 2.9-mile Lowell Invitational (15:06). Jose Pina, Lincoln: Fourth overall at Earlybird (15:55). Cooper Sloan, Homestead: Second overall at Earlybird (15:52). Steven Sum, Saratoga: Top returning placer from last year's CCS meet, had fastest time at SCVAL preview meet (15:38). GIRLS Julia Bounds, St. Francis: Freshman was second at Gunn Alumni meet, second at Lowell (17:17). Lauren Jacob, Los Altos: Won her race at Lowell Invitational (17:18), second overall at Earlybird (18:12). Julia Lemak, Archbishop Mitty: Had fastest time at Palma's Chieftain Classic (18:51). Melissa Reed, Mountain View: Second at SCVAL preview (18:56), third at Lowell (17:32). Sarah Robinson, Gunn: Fastest at SCVAL preview (18:30), won her race at Lowell (17:14).