Griffin spurred on by sister

Rachael Keating/Clinton HeraldStrokeStyle/$ID/Japanese DotsPrince of Peace sophomore Sophie Griffin runs her race during the Rebel Invite on Sept. 6.

Sibling rivalry is sparking competition on the Prince of Peace girls cross country team — sophomore Sophie Griffin is determined to become a better runner than her older sister.

“Oh I want to beat her at everything,” Sophie said about her older sister, Audrey. “One example ... she did basketball her sophomore year and she’s not good so I went out for basketball. I want to be better than her at things.”

Sophie is in her second year of cross country with the Irish, already besting her times from her freshman year. She has some work to put in to catch up to her sibling nearly nine years her senior.

Audrey Griffin ran for the Irish 2008-2011. In that time, she was a four-time state qualifier and two-time state runner-up in the Class 1A girls division.

Still, Sophie thinks that the effort she’s going to put in will set her apart from Audrey down the line. And she’s not afraid to point that out to people.

“I think it’s the fact that she could have run faster in high school and now those days are past her,” Sophie said. “She always says she could have tried harder.

“I need to run faster in practices. I want to try harder. Owen [Howard] told me I could have done more in last year’s meets and ran faster, so I’m trying to push myself and run fast.

Sophie was in elementary school when Audrey was in her prep running days.

“I know I missed every Halloween because she was at state,” Sophie said. “I remember having to rush home after school and changing into meet clothes then driving out as fast as possible.”

She also remembers her impression of Audrey at that time.

“I thought she’s running slow, she’s not first,” Sophie said. “At one meet I yelled ‘Run faster, what are you doing?’”

Now it’s her turn to make a splash as a part of a young Irish team who has already improved in leaps and bounds. Sophie has finished in the top ten in her first two meets of the year, something you wouldn’t have expected after seeing her times freshman year.

She has her goals, and knows she’s going to keep improving. Her eye is on state, and then it’s on being better than her older sister.

Despite all the competitive talk, she’s still grateful. She knows she wouldn’t be where she was if it wasn’t for seeing it all from her older sister first.

“I don’t think I would be as good of a runner if Audrey hadn’t run,” Sophie said. “I don’t think I would have even gone out for cross country if I hadn’t grown up around it.”