Audubon Park, Spokane, WA / 90 degrees / Hilly and winding three loop course

By David "Hawaiian Five-Oh" Taylor, Milesplit Washington Editor



Boys Results Meet Preview Girls Results


Ferris xc @ tracy walters

Featuring three top 15 National Powerhouses, the 2009 Tracy Walters Invitational gave everyone what

US#16 Thorne (Ferris) and Johnson (NC) Duel

they were expecting and more! With meet results causing national ranking shifts, the new US#6 Ferris High dominates over new US#12 North Central and ranking newcomer US #15 Kamiakin, who achieved their ranking bumps in the hours after results were forwarded to the selection committee for this weeks release.  New to the rankings is Kamiakin High who finished within 12 points of defending National Champion North Central High.   Shadle Park Girls Skyrocket to US#15 with win!!!


US#11 Kinsey Gomez of Coeur D'Alene High, Idaho, dismantles a sharp girls field winning in 17:57.  Almost 90 seconds faster then last years winner!  Starting the season off undefeated and 2-0, Gomez has high hopes for this year.  Gomez sends a powerful message to southern Idaho that this years State meet not only occurs in Coeur D' Alene, Idaho, but the title also goes

Gomez (CDA) and Mom Celebrate!!

through her.  With a pedigree that includes a personal trainer (mom) and former Marathoner (dad) Gomez should have all the tools necessary to remain focused and healthy for this years title and potential Footlocker run.  Gomez should be heavily favored to remain undefeated in 2009!!!  


Shadle Park girls dominate a stacked field and as a result gain a National #15 ranking!!!  Led by Andrea Nelson (2nd), Shadle places three in the top 5 and 5 in the top 13 (2,3,5,10,11) to claim the title, 31-60 over Richland High.  Look for this team to also move up to claim the number one slot in Washington Class and All-State rankings to be released on Monday!!!



Kamiakin High shocks everyone with a tight third place finish in the boys Varsity race!  Led by

Kamiakin Boys Team US#15!!!

Sophomore Anthony Armstrong they place 5 runners in the top 30 and came within 12 points of National Powerhouse and defending National Champion North Central High.  At this juncture it is safe to say that they are far better than anyone gave them credit for and will undoubtedly jump Henry Jackson High in next weeks State Class and All-State rankings.  Coach Matt Rexus  has been at this sport for 22 years and states that this years squad is his best ever.  When asked about the journey they have undergone to get to this point Coach Rexus states, "at some point we just became sick and tired of getting

Coach Rexus of US#15 Kamiakin

beat and being on the verge, we may not be the best team, but when we step on the line at state we will have as good a chance to win as Ferris or Jackson".  Big expectations for an accelerating team with a highly qualified coach.  The key to their success has been in getting out to the desert of central Washington, "any kid who can make it through the Desert workouts, and proven themselves, will learn one thing, and that is how to do one thing together".  In a sport where TEAMWORK is the backbone of success Kamiakin looks to make a huge statement in 2009 both regionally and nationally.  With 4 of their 7 returning in 2010 we have pretty good reason to be excited about the future prospects!



Not to be forgotten, defending National Champion North Central sent a powerful message that although Ferris picks up where they left off in 2008, they still cast a large shadow over the State and

The Legend Tracy Walters

National Scene.  Despite placing 6 runners in the top 20, North Central falls to Ferris High even with a 20 second spread between their 2nd and 6th runners.  However, North Central has a lot to look forward to given the opportunities that Spokane presents to improve through competition.  Additionally, North Central scores 16 points in the boys Junior Varsity race highlighting the point that a dynasty may be in the making.  Look for them to close the gap with Ferris over the season and make another serious title run.


I had a chance to talk to the TEAM at North Central and by that I don't mean the runners, but instead the coaches.  With undoubtedly one to the top 5 coaching staffs in the Nation North Central should make another serious title run very shortly.  Assembled around Coach Knight is the entourage of  Legend Tracy Walters, his son and Head Track Coach Kelly Walters, Washington great Leon Long (who battled the great Gerry Lindgren), with further insight from

Kelly Walters and Tracy Walters

former Ferris standout and Washington running legend Randy James.  They have a continuous legacy spanning almost 5 decades that breeds an atmosphere of encouragement, motivation, passion, and commraderie.  The result is real impacts upon human capabilities that causes the young men under their charge to focus more on the process of finding an inward journey to be proud about and build upon.  As Tracy Walters states emphatically as the crowd's cheers reach hights more common to high school football games, "Its not me, its us" and they really believe it.  They solely attribute their coaching success to the "power of collaboration" in Walters words.



To Kelly Walters North Central follows in a long line of Spokane Elite programs.  For nearly two decades Mead High School reigned supreme under the guidance of Pat Tyson who now coaches at Gonzaga University.  People around Spokane know Tyson as the "Pide Piper" of  recruiting,  according to Kelly Walters.  They wanted to duplicate their success, and as anyone knows, competition breeds

Coach Pat Tyson and Me

success and Meads unparalleled success ultimately produced the great Ferris and North Central programs we know today.  Coach Tyson understands that Spokane tradition and believes strongly in the influence that Spokane holds in the American running culture, both at the interscholastic and collegiate level.  As he states with a passion few could duplicate "Spokane is the American Rift Valley and the potential at Gonzaga is unlimited!", and it is a fact that once he gets the program at the national level, WHICH HE WILL, no other collegiate program in the nation will have such an advantageous pool to recruit from.  Year in and year out Spokane proves nationally in terms of quality and depth that it stands alone as potentially the greatest training and competing ground for American Cross Country and Distance running.  How many greats has Spokane sent to Oregon and Stanford?  Imagine the impact that will happen when Coach Tyson produces teams assembled from home grown talent from only blocks away.    The sky is the limit with this Championship Coach who has the experience and passion unparalleled in the he roomed with Steve Prefontaine...NEED I SAY MORE?



Cross town rival Ferris High has received a lot of national coverage and yet has met the call of their destiny with this pinnacle early season meet.  In what many have labeled as the Red Wave, Ferris appears destined to claim another 4A state title and potentially keep the National Title in Spokane,

US#6 Ferris after victory!

Washington.  I had a chance to speak with the team and discovered a team with amazing focus and resolve.  When asked what their focus is this year they immediately responded in unison "To win state, that is our singular focus", and when asked what motivates them, they stated emphatically, "Coach Hadway and the tradition of the Big Red Wave".  When asked about the impact of Coach Hadway, who has been at Ferris for over two decades they replied, "Coach Hadway's way is the Hardway and we are 100% sold".  Certainly Coach Hadway seems to have molded a stellar group, even if it has been "the Hardway" and in that way, I guess they have succeed due to Coach Hardway!



Coeur D' Alene High was a late entry into this years event.  Despite being outgunned by three teams ranked in the top 15 Nationally they held their own and sent a message that they are on the rise.  With nearly their entire team, including Sophomore Phenom Cody Curtis (6th place), returning in 2010, the tide may be turned drastically in 2010.  What is clear is that they are the favorite to claim the Idaho State title taking place in their own backyard this year.  What most people don't know is the Coeur D' Alene-North Central connection.  CD'A Coach Compton was actually a runner in the past at North Central and as a matter of fact their first female to ever qualify for state.  Her impact on North Central running is so vast that they actually have a season award named after her.  According to the Dad of Cody Curtis, a former Naval Seal, Coach Compton "brings a dedication, preparation, and leadership

CD'A Boys Team

to the team that they didnt have in the past".  His son has grown from this leadership, coupled with that of his father, and has taken the leadership role he plays on his team very seriously.  He takes point in ensuring his team warms up and is mentally focused.  From his leadership, molded by Compton and his Dad,  the team has made a sharp turn towards National Relevance.  From the results garnered today, even though they placed 6th, it was against the top 5 teams in all classifications for the State of Washington to include three teams which under the right circumstances could win the National Title.  It is clear that Washington has about six teams in the National top 100, three of which are in the top 15, with a fourth, Henry Jackson most likely filling a slot in the top 30.  The shot has been fired across the bow of their Spokane counterparts...Coeur D' Alene high is on the precipous of greatness.



Freshman Alexandra Moore of Central Valley High School wins the Girls Junior Varsity race in a time of 21:22.  Coached by Dennis McGuire, Moore performed admirably in her first high school race.  She has never ran track and only ran cross country in the 7th grade where she went undefeated at her school.  She has tried to run every day over the summer and wants to continue that effort over the next year. 




Jordan Rogers of North Central takes the boys Junior Varsity race (17:30) and leads the North Central JV Squad to a remarkable 16 point victory and 17:37 team average.  In what may possibly be the top JV team in the state North Central appears confident for the future of the program.