Washington East - West All Star Meet

  The 2011 Washington East – West All-Star meet saw runners racing under sunny skies.   The meet, which was organized  by the Washington Coaches Association, was held at Magnuson Park in Seattle.   Although the temperature was in the mid-seventies after a cool summer, the meet offered some spirited racing.    Both boys and girls raced together with the start time being 10 AM.  

     The course offered along straight and flat area early before the runners made a turn towards Kite Hill.   When the leader raced back into sight the field had already been broken up quite well but Nate Brennand of Olympia & Jeff Bastian of Glacier Peak held a slight lead over Jared Lehning of Snohomish, Dakota Parker of W F West, Matt Baer of Bellarmine & Turner Wiley of Issaquah.  

      Tansey Lystad of Inglemoor was the leader of the girls from the onset of the race and was sandwiched in the midst of a number of male runners but was followed early by Sarah Whybark of Glacier Peak.   Another twenty or so meters behind them was the trio of Maggie Jones & Katie Mahoney, both from Richland, & Erin Johnson of Shorewood.  Lucy Cheadle of Roosevelt shadowed that small pack.

     Jeff Bastian assumed a slight lead over Nate Brennand and went through the mile in a time of  5:27.   The chase pack was already a good ten meters back at that point.   Tansey led the girls with a mile split of 6:14 but was now pursued by Maggie Jones, Katie Mahoney & Erin Johnson with Cheadle falling back just a bit & Whybark trailing Cheadle.

      By the time that Bastian had reached the 3K in  10:29, he had built a sizable lead over Brennand, while Lehning was left to run on his own.  A bit further back Parker & Bear waged their own private duel for fourth.   Tansey for her part was beginning to break the field.    The course ran at times along Lake Washington but the key to the race was the fact that the runners had to run up Kite Hill three times.  The hill is hardly severe but by the third ascent the hill had become more formidable.

     There would be no late surprises and Jeff Bastian looked very fluid as he strode home in a time of 16:28.  Nate Brennand claimed second in a time of 16:30 and Jared Lehning followed with 16:4.   Matt Baer edged Dakota Parker at the tape with both runners credited with a 16:48 clocking and Turner Wiley garnered sixth in 17:12.

    Tansey Lystad drew away during the course of the race and won with a comfortable margin in a time of 19:39.   Maggie Jones topped her team mate Katie Mahoney by a second to claim second in 19:48.   Erin Johnson earned fourth with 19:56 and was the last runner to break twenty minutes.   Lucy Cheadle finished in 20:01 and Carey Lyons of Stadium placed sixth with 20:16.   Audrey Hiatt & Nicole Anderson finished 7th & 8th respectively & Sarah Whybark took ninth.

      There is plenty to like about the race for the meet offers a chance to take a cool dip in the lake after a hard run and the coaches put on a picnic for the young runners as well.   More important is the fact that the coaches offered a number of scholarships and this year there was a total of $4000.  Adrian Diaz won a Coaches’ Scholarship worth $1,000 and Megan Lee came away with a $1000 scholarship from Brooks.   Better yet the funds are awarded in a way that they do not cut into grant money, so the scholarships are a true bonus.   Former All-Star winner Jordan McNamara, who ran very well for the University of Oregon, was on hand to share in the festivities.   Of course the meet offered the last chance for graduating seniors one last time to compete as a prep prior to departing for college.   For Tansey Lystad & Jeff Bastian it proved to be a final winning note, yet judging from the smiles on the competitors faces after the race it was a successful day for everyone.