When it comes to success, Hannah Pricco sees no problem spreading the wealth.
While some cross country runners are guarded over their personal times and finishes, Pricco is one of three Lansing Catholic runners who have had no problem taking turns virtually dominating the Capital Area Activities Conference White over the last two seasons.
Not only are the three part of a Cougars program which hasn't lost a conference jamboree in 11 years, Pricco along with CC Jones and Tessa Roe have grabbed the top three spots in each conference jamboree over the last two seasons. They also took the top three places at their Regional last weekend.
When it comes to the specific order of those finishes, Pricco said there is complete agreement among the runners: it doesn't matter who wins.
"We all want to win; that's normal," said Pricco, a senior all-stater in both cross country and track. "But I've run with these other girls in practice and in meets, and if I beat them, okay. If I don't, that's okay, too.
"We're definitely all competitive in our own way. We push each other and want to get better. When you're in a race, it's better to look over and see someone you know rather than seeing someone from another team. There's nothing wrong with any of us winning."
The three have posted personal bests within 25 seconds of each other. Jones, a senior, tops the trio with an 18:13, Pricco an 18:14 and Roe, a junior, has gone 18:38. Those times are more than a minute better than the usual fourth-place finisher in a conference jamboree.
Cougars coach Tim Simpson said whatever their individual finishes, the ultimate goal of the runners is the success of the team. Personal recognition is a far second.
"With them it's like, 'Well, I finished first this time and third the next. That's fine,'" he said. "Whether it's a league meet or a Regional or one of the bigger meets we go to, they just race. They work together. They're pretty similar, so it's just how they feel on that day."
The girls not only run cross country and track together, they spend time together away from athletics. They'll typically be found together at everything from bonfires to dining out to trips to a local park. Roe and Pricco also play on the basketball team.
The trio has been together since Jones transferred as a sophomore and Roe arrived at the school as a freshman. Pricco has been at the school all four years.
Jones said there is absolutely no jealousy among the runners as to who wins a meet. While the runners typically stay together during a race, there is often a scramble at the end to see who grabs first.
"The last hundred meters we sprint to see who wins – it doesn't matter if it's in practice or in a meet," Jones said. "We want to win, but we're all friends. We're not going to make anyone tense. We don't really think (about places). It's not like we need to beat each other."
Roe, a three-year varsity basketball player, said the benefit of having three runners within 25 seconds of each other is that each makes the next runner better. It's true none are obsessed with who finishes first, but like any athlete, they are competitive.
"All of us are definitely competitive. We look at that as a way to push each other," Roe said. "Obviously, we try to beat other runners; that goes hand-in-hand with running. I think it gives us all confidence that we have each other. It's that way in practice and in meets. We know we can pick up each other."
The runners do admit that their philosophy will be altered at Saturday's Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final at Michigan International Speedway. Headed by Pricco's seventh place a year ago, all three finished among the meet's top 20. Simpson predicts the meet's winner will likely clock in under 18 minutes, meaning his runners will have to post a career day to win. But he does call all three finishing among the top 10 "realistic."
"They're all capable of running under 18 minutes on any given day. They're shooting for that," he said. "They'll run their races and be very competitive with the others and with themselves."
Whether it’s in the Final or during the conference season, Pricco said the girls are only pulling for each other.
"There's nothing wrong with any of us winning," she concluded.
PHOTOS (Top) From left, Lansing Catholic’s CC Jones (749), Tessa Roe (745) and Hannah Pricco (755) lead the pack during a race. (Middle) Pricco, Jones and Roe help set the pace during another race. (Photos courtesy of the Lansing Catholic girls cross country program.)