Thoughts for Molly Grabill during the week of NXN

The vehicle driven by Molly Grabill was struck by a rock thrown from an overpass near Rice Hill on Interstate 5. The car also rolled after Grabill lost control of the wheel. (Photo Oregon State Police)

It was shocking to hear Tuesday of what caused two Oregon track and field athletes to have an accident on Interstate 5late Monday.

Molly Grabill was driving her Subaru wagon with teammate Chris Brewer when some under-developed person apparently lobbed a rock off an I-5 overpass and it crashed through the windshield. Presumably, they were on there way back to school from Thanksgiving in California, where both are from.

The randomness of such an act is so stunning, and vile, it is beyond comprehension.

I’ll think of Grabill on Saturday when I cover the Nike Cross Nationals event at Portland Meadows on Saturday. Grabill never competed at NXN. Instead she qualified for Foot Locker twice. But I met her and interviewed her briefly at Portland Meadows when she won the Nike Pre-Nationals (Jim Danner Inviational) there in 2010.

Grabill is no different than any of the hard-working, earnest high school runners who will compete on Saturday at NXN. She and Brewer are no different, when they’re driving on Interstate 5, than any of us.

Anyone, who might have any idea who committed this idiotic act at Rice Hill, Oregon, please speak up and call OSP Detective Tom Willis at (541) 440-3334 or the OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at (541) 440-3333.

Grabill was injured by the rock and the subsequent crash of her vehicle, but she is expected to fully recover. Brewer was thankfully uninjured. It is a chilling piece of news coming so closely on the heels of Oregon’s recent NCAA title in women’s cross country.

“The most import thing is that we are grateful Molly and Chris are going to be alright. We’re a tight-knit, family oriented team and this has been a real shock for all of us. The outcome could have been much worse,” Oregon track coach Robert Johnson said. “Our team has rallied around Molly and Chris and I’m so proud to see them all being there for their teammates and doing whatever they can to help. We will continue to support Molly and Chris and we ask for all of TrackTown to pray for a speedy recovery.”

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