Jackson High School runner finishes 5K without a shoe to help her team qualify for state meet this weekend

Jackson High runner finishes 3.1 mile race without a shoe to help her team qualify for states

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WOIO) - Shoes, it’s the only equipment a runner needs.

Imagine how difficult it would be to run without one through the mud, sticks and stones for more than three miles.

Massillon Jackson High School sophomore Sofia Isnick did.

She started the regional meet ready to conquer the 3.14 miles at her usual sub-6-minute-mile pace Saturday.

But then, she had a setback.

“I felt someone step on my right shoe,” she said.

It came off, but she kept going, even though it hurt.

“There was a few rocks and gravel on the field, which is really where it hurt, but it was just the constant pounding,” she said.

The shoe that came off was the one that had her little timing device attached to the laces.

To finish the race on record, she had no choice but to carry it across the finish line.

When she rounded a corner, her coach Kevin Walsh saw she had the shoe in her hand.

“That caused panic,” he said.

She said, “I just held it up and showed them, and they were all shouting at me kinda like shocked themselves to see me without a shoe.”

She’d tied her laces tight that morning and taped them down, because of wet weather.

Her teammates knew she couldn’t get it back on.

They, along with her coaches, saw her struggling.

“We were really trying to get word to her that we need every point,” Walsh said.

They needed every point to get to the state cross-country meet this weekend.

“I really thought about my teammates and how hard we’d worked this season just to make it to states,” Sophia said.

Walsh said, “We knew that score was going to be really tight, and it was.”

It was, but the Jackson High School girls made the cut.

“She was able to push through, and she talked about it being for the team, and it really is about the team,” Walsh said. “She knew those points were valuable.”

This week, Isnick is getting her foot ready to compete in Columbus.

“It’s a little bruised,” she said. “I’ve been working on salt baths and icing it a lot.”

She’s hoping this weekend, she’ll make it to the finish with both shoes on.

“I need to start off calm and kind of put everything in the past--not be afraid of loosing my shoe and get back in the starting pack, and give it all I got," she said.

Not only is the girls team going to states this weekend, but so is are the boys.

The runners say it’s the second year in a row that’s happened, so it’s a pretty big deal for them.

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