26 SEPTEMBER, 2009 / UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
By: David "Hawaiian Five-Oh" Taylor, Milesplit Washington
MEAD BOYS: STEPPING UP
Mead High School out of Spokane, Washington has a tremendous tradition of excellence. Since 1988 they have secured 14 State Championship and multiple National Championships. For the last two years they have come on strong in the latter part of the season to surprise National Powerhouse and current US#4 Ferris High School and they have the talent on hand to repeat this feat each and every year, problem is, will the Senior class step up.
|THE GENERAL RALLYS HIS TROOPS!|
|MEAD SENIORS...COMING TOGETHER|
I was on the phone last night with Boys Coach Steve Kiesel talking cross country and spider bites. I recently was hospitalized for a pretty bad Brown Recluse spider bite on the back of my arm. It left me with a tennis ball sized lump and a horrible fever and headache. I am on my way to recovery, but is Mead capable of recovering from a season strung with "spider bites" from cross town rivals US#4 Ferris and US#14 North Central? Have they resolved their year to a city bronze medal? It is early, but it is clear that the defending state champions may have been "bit" with the complacency of success associated with back to back state championships in 2007 and 2008. They were not favored in each of those years, but stepped up late in the season to shock the state and nation.
Some things come too easy and some things are just expected. Perhaps the Senior class expects the season to just work itself out. I watched as the Mead boys ran neck and neck with Ferris for half of a 2.5 mile race, a week ago at the Highlander Invitational. However, for some reason they just fell off pace faster then would be expected from athletes at their training level. Heart, fortitude, perseverance, and desire come to mind as we are drawn to the ultimate question: Do they want it? Coach Kiesel has lit a fire under them as of late and challenged the Seniors to step up and make a statement. Will that happen at the Mountain West Classic this weekend? Stay tuned as Coach Kiesel exhorts his young men to take ownership of the legacy that is Mead at the Mountain West Classic.
|COACH J HAS FLATHEAD READY!|
What is clear is that the boys from Flathead High School are not going to wait for Mead to figure it out. They are coming to the campus of the University of Montana prepared to win. Having pieced together a shocking season with record low wins, the boys from Flathead High School are hoping to make a national statement this weekend.
In two meets the braves have scored record lows. At the well known Flathead Invitational with 12 schools they score a near perfect 16 points. At the Ronan Invitational they score 21 points. What is clear is that Flathead may be back and winning the Mountain West Classic would go a long way in establishing that.
Led by the 2008 National Cross Country Coach of the Year Paul Jorgensen, Flathead appears ready to join the national elite rankings. Recently, Flathead was awarded the 1985 National Cross Country Championship through the XC Legacy Series by Milesplit.us. Has this inspired a new generation of runners to reach for the stars? We will certainly find out!
US#7 SHADLE PARK GIRLS: MAKING A NATIONAL STATEMENT
The highlight of my first year covering Washington has been the girls of Shadle Park High School. Week in and out they have raised the standard of excellence for the State, Region, and National Competition. How far will they go in 2009? is the question on everyones mind as they travel east to Montana this weekend as on the chopping block this week is the Nationally Renowned Mountain West Classic. Will they be ready? Yes. I watched in amazement this last wednesday as they absolutely destroyed the girls of Central Valley, who are the defending Greater Spokane Leagure champions. In what was a tandem workout, they still ripped the competition apart and even raised the eyebrows of their legendary coach "Rapid Robert" Isitt.
This season may well be the payoff of consistency spanning four decades for Coach Isitt. We are fairly certain that this team has the potential to go down as the greatest ever produced out of the Spokane area. Will they claim that mantle and reach their goal? Stay tuned!
|SHADLE PARK IS ON A JOURNEY WITH HISTORY...SEVEN IS ONE AND THE BEST IS YET TO COME!|