The U.S. #2 team, the U.S. #24 team, one of the best programs of all-time, and the third place team from Nike Team Nationals in 2006. No, this isn't the description of one team, or even a top flight invitational, it's the Greater Spokane League boys quad meet tonight at Ferris High School in Washington. North Central, Central Valley, Mead and Ferris square off in the four-team clash. The Spokane, WA running community trumps all others when it comes to sheer dominance, and tonight that dominance is center stage.
Greater Spokane League Four-Way Dual Meet, Spokane, WA
North Central - The most dominating team in the country currently, despite their U.S. #2 ranking, North Central's running can't get much better. Their top seven impresses critics everywhere. Not only do they have an experienced stable of runners, but they have five 4:21 1600m runners, four of which are non-seniors. Led by sophomore Alex Avila, junior Leon Dean, junior Andrew Kimple, junior Steven Hicks and senior Adam Tyler, North Central seems like an unstoppable force.
Central Valley - Led by a strong senior tandem of Jayson Taylor and Bryce Aguilar, Central Valley needs their 3-5 runners to come up big if they hope to upset North Central. As the U.S. #24 team, Central Valley's expectations are very high this season. A win here, or close score, should boost Central Valley much higher in the rankings, and give them confidence that they can run with any team in the nation.
Mead - One of the successful squads in the history of high school distance running, Mead's success this year is contingent upon how well their 4-5 runners compete. Senior Kelly Lynch leads the squad, something he's done for the past few years now. Lynch, a Foot Locker contender, is strong, needing to win the race if his team hopes to beat either North Central or Central Valley.
Ferris - Last year's third place Nike Team National finish didn't surprise many. With a senior driven squad, Ferris drove through the competition all year, marking themselves as the top team in Washington. However, most of that team graduated, so it is back to rebuilding. Led by sophomore Adam Thorne and senior Paul Hawkins, Ferris looks to prove them are still a threat.
Look for this quad to be one of the most, if not the most, exciting meet of the week. Local bragging rights are on the line, and embarrasement is something no team wants. North Central is the clear favorite, but just like any great rivalry, anything can happen on the day.