The epicenter for Northwest harriers this week was Boise, Idaho, where runners competed in the NXN Northwest Regional. The course at Eagle Island State Park was more difficult than usual with a longer and deeper stretch of sand, which made comparing times from the past a rather fruitless endeavor. For most runners, who were on hand, the focus was the team competition, which finally allowed everyone to finally jettison the morass of the rankings system and replace it with actual head-to-head competition. The girls’ race was first and it took some time to disentangle another snafu in the team scores and sadly South Eugene went from a celebration to keen disappointment after the final corrections were made. Instead of winning the meet they were forced to return the winner’s trophy, which went to the Summit Storm. There was no real surprise there but one has to feel for the lady Axemen.
When things had been cleared up Summit had defeated Glacier Peak (Snohomish) 103 to 117. It was the overall depth, that spelled the difference and for emphasis Summit’s sixth runner Tess Nelson actually placed ahead of Glacier Peak’s fifth runner. Still it was a fine battle with GP taking the early lead behind the individual triumph of Amy-Eloise Neale and the eighth place effort of Katie Bianchini, who ran a very fine race. Oregon 5A champion Megan Fristoe earned eleventh and the Storm’s freshman Piper McDonald had a big day with her 16th place finish. Ashley Maton of Summit placed 28th while Megan Davis of Snohomish earned 41st (team placement being 20 & 30). Crucial to Summit’s victory were the solid placements of Kira Kelly & Sara Fristoe, who finished 42nd & 43rd, which placed them ahead of Glacier Peak’s fourth runner. Still in the end the composite result showed Glacier Peak running a fine overall race with the final score of 103 to 117 being reasonably close. They were also well in front of Bozeman, which placed third with 148 points. Camas, which has had a fine season, topped Oregon 6A champion South Eugene on the sixth runner tie-breaker (79 to 103) and Jesuit was close behind in sixth with 164 points. The top two teams earned automatic berths to the national team race in Portland, but Bozeman will have to sweat out an at-large bid. Both Camas & South Eugene have a very outside chance of earning entry at nationals but then the logic of numerous selections in the past has made us wonder.
Washington teams dominated the top four places in the male version of the race with North Central of Spokane winning once again. This time it was the young squad from Gig Harbor, which will join them in Portland The final scores of 95 & 108 left them well ahead of Seattle Prep, which had 148. Yakima (Eisenhower) garnered fourth with 178 points, while South Eugene placed fifth with 208 edging Tri-Cities (Kamiakin) by four points. The Montana team from Bozeman earned seventh with a score of 250.
` For those interested in rankings the race effected the XC Nation polls and the Summit girls are now ranked 12th nationally. Glacier Peak is ranked 23rd and Bozeman is 32nd. Camas and South Eugene are ranked next to each other at 35th & 36th. No other girls’ team from the Northwest are currently ranked. North Central tops the NW guys with their 14th place ranking, while Gig Harbor comes in at 24. Seattle Prep is now 32nd and Eisenhower is the last team in the area with a national ranking at 45th.
Once again Katie Knight & Amy-Eloise Neale left their competition well behind, as they dueled up front. Neale pulled away from Knight during the second loop of the course to secure a victory by nine seconds. Alexa Efraimson of Camas followed the duo home for the second straight week and was timed in 18:23. Erin Clark & Sara Tsai of South Eugene earned 4th & 5th, while Paige Rice of St. Mary’s Academy followed in sixth. Mikayla Malaspina secured seventh to top the Idaho contingent, which included Emily Hamlin of Boise in 9th & Emily Nist of Bishop Kelly, who took 12th. Paige Gilchrist (Hellgate) led the Montana runners with her 17th place finish, while Andie Creel (19) & Caroline Hardin (24) followed Gilchrist. Hailey Ricks finished 25th to lead Wyoming runners. Alaska runners Lydia Blanchet (37) & Rachel Roelle (38) were the top representatives. Hana Bohman of Palmer finished 7th in the JV race.
Anthony Armstrong, Izaic Yorks & Dallin Farnsworth led the way early but it was Armstrong, who claimed victory at the end, as Yorks & Farnsworth claimed second and third & was the top Idaho runner. Korey Krotzer, who had placed fourth in the Washington State meet, came home fourth again. The Auburn Riverside star topped Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep by three seconds. Thomas Rigby of Boise finished sixth and will head to Portland, because Farnsworth will take on the challenge of Foot Locker. Travis Neuman of Summit was Oregon’s highest finisher with his seventh place effort and may actually received a bid to NXN, as at least one other runner is debating Foot Locker. Kai Wilmot led his North Central team mates with his 8th place record & Erik Harris of Twin Falls finished ninth ahead of Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic. Jakob Woodland of Bozeman (21) was Montana’s top runner, while Mason Minturn of Palmer, Alaska topped his state with a third in the so-called JV race. Hats off to the Idaho runners, who gave a very good account of themselves. . For the guys there were three runners in the top nine plus with Cody Curtis that makes four in the top fifteen. When one considers that Washington has almost twice the population of Oregon, which in turn has well more than double the population of Idaho, their success was impressive.
News from around the Nation
New England Championships The venerable old race, which marked its 77th edition, saw Mike Marsella run 15:25 to edge newly crowned Connecticut champion Conner Rog by a second. Rog had been undefeated this fall. Maine’s Matt McClintock was third in 15:39. Chernet Sissay was ill and finished well back in the pack. Harry Warnick (15:46) of Ct. & Dylan LaFond (15:46) of N.H. earned 4th and 5th respectively. Ellie Purrier of Vermont won the girls’ race with 18:00, while Molly Keating of LaSalle (RI) placed 2nd in 18:10. Emily Durgin of Maine finished third in 18:28. Taylor Spillane of Vermont placed fourth with 18:32, while Bethanie Brown & Markie Palermo followed in fifth & sixth. Others of note included Abby Mace (7 – 18:40) & Fiona Hendry (8 – 18:40). Champlain Valley of Vermont won its second straight New England title, while Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendricken won the boys’ title. Purrier’s time was a new course record by 14 seconds.
N Y Intersectionals Fayetteville Manlius had a perfect score as they shut out the nation’s #2 Saratoga Springs. Jillian Fanning led FM in the A Classification with her time 18:51. Laura Leff placed second as an individual with 19:33. Samantha Nadel topped the B group with 19:25 & Mary Cain was the best of C with her time of 19:29. In boys’ action Nick Ryan led everyone with 16:28.
Futsum Zeinasellassie of Indiana hopes for a return to Foot Locker, yet tried his hand in the NXN Midwest meet with the intention of competing in both. As expected, he had no trouble with that field and h rolled to victory with a time of 15:42. Mike Clevenger followed in 15:56. Amanda Fox edged Samantha Nightengale 18:09.1 to 18:09.9.
Tony Smoragiewicz of South Dakota dueled Jake Leingang of North Dakota in the Heartland Regional for NXN and defeated his rival by seven seconds with his time of 15:19. Smorgy will also attempt the double with Foot Locker, as he did last fall. Maria Hauger was easily the top girl with 17:52.
Connecticut State - Held on Tuesday – the meet saw .Connor Rog of Fairfield Prep run 15:22 to defeat, Harry Warnick of Fairfield Warde, who ran 15:35.Reid Watson of Glastonbury was the best of the gals with 18:35.
Delaware State - Running in different divisions Haley Pierce & Julie Macedo ran versions of 17:28. Macedo, the top ranked runner in the nation, accordingly will head to Foot Locker, while Pierce will head to Portland and the mud bowl with her Tatnall team mates, who easily secured another State title.
Virginia State Meet - The Midlothian girls claimed yet another crown Sophie Chase secured the girls’ title in 17:33 far out-distancing the rest of the field. Nicole Park passed Megan Moye with three yards left to take second in 18:20. Foot Locker finalist, like Sophie Chase, Ahmed Bile ran 15:16 to top Sean McGorty, who ran 15:21.
Massachusetts - Nick Christiansen (15:46) & James Sullivan (15:56) went 1 – 2 in Division I & Wesley Gallagher topped Division IV in 15:50. Catarina Rocha ran 18:06, which was by far the best time of the day. She won Division I, while Jordan O’ Dea won Division IV at Boston’s historic Franklin Park with 18:34.
Kentucky State – Jacob Thompson ran 15:55 and Maddox Paterson came in with 18:58.
Alabama State – Brandun Hazouri led the guys with 15:45, while Carmen Carlos bested the girls in 17:19
Maryland State Meet – Braden Bruning (16:20) edged Hassan Omar by two seconds & Emily Mulhern topped the girls with 19:53.
Texas State – Craig Nowak ran 15:16 & Daniel Vertiz followed in 15:21. Karly Jochen had a two-mile time of 11:12.
Illinois – Wisconsin Brooks Border War saw Wisconsin take the top five girls’ places led by Molly Seidel, who ran 17:43. The next closest runner came across the finish 58 seconds later. Mitchell Wilkins of Illinois ran 15:51 defeating Trevor Wunnicke of W., K J Matuszak of Il & Joe McAsey of Wi. but after Joseph Cowlin finished the next five places went to the northern rival.
N J Group races – Tim Ball (15:38) led G 4 and Blake Udland (15:48) was the best of G 3.
Stephen Lewandowksi ran 16:03 for honors in G 1. George Kelly (16:05) of CBA was the best of the Non-Public runners in Division A, while Liam Mullet topped B. Megan Lacy won the G 4 girls with 18:27 finishing seven seconds ahead of Marisa Ruskan. Limited a bit by a groin injury Lacy had debated passing on the contest but now goes on to the Meet of Champions next weekend. Dana Giordano led G 2 with 18:32 & Holly Bischoff was the fastest in Non-Public A with 18:47. It should be noted that the times seem a bit slow, because the race was held at Holmdel, which is beyond simply challenging, nor did it helped that the runners were faced with swirling winds.
Michigan Qualifier for Mid-East Meets of champions. Unlike Ohio, which appoints its representatives in next weekend’s meet Michigan run their harriers to see, who travels to Kettering. Austin Wheeler led the boys with 15:56 & Alissa Williams ran 18:23 to top the girls.
California League Meets
North County - Foot Locker National finalist of 2010 Darren Fahy won the guys’ race in 15:44. Kelly Lawson defeated her team mate Emma Abrahamson to claim the girls’ title by three seconds with her time of 17:28.
Palomar League – Dylan Blankenship ran 16:02 finishing five seconds before Eric Sindel. Ashlyn Dadkhah ran 17:48.
Avacado - Brandon Hansen won, while Ashley Cope ran 18:29 to lead the girls.