It may have been quiet up to now in Oregon & Washington but our friends from Alaska have been in competition for two weeks and the harriers of Idaho kicked off the season last week. That being the case we are a little late for the first edition of the 2012 Northwest Review, which I will attempt now. The big news was the return of Allie Ostrander, who gave no evidence of her problems last year at State. Of course her problems were mainly due to being forced to wait in the cold too long but one never knows how the first race after will go.
Still, if there were any doubts, Allie answered them forcefully with a convincing victory in the Bartlett Invitational, which was the scene of last year’s travails. Her time was a resounding 17:58. The Kenai gazelle topped Brooke Lizotte of Lathrop, who ran a solid 18:41 on the challenging course. Rachel Roelle of West Anchorage took third with 18:58 and Audrey Michaelson of Colony. Jenette Northey of Service had an off day placing sixth behind Hope Steffensen of Kenai with a time of 19:11. Levi Thomet, who had run in the Open Race at Nikiski the week earlier, which he won with 17:22, surprised his Kodiak team mate Cole Christiansen, who ran 16:07. Cole was the victor at Nikiski with 17:11. Thomet ’s clocking of 16:01 was quite brisk for this point of the season as was Christiansen. Peter Noon of West Valley earned third at Bartlett with 16:19 and was followed by Erich Hoefler and Max Donaldson, who are also from West Valley. Miles Knotek of Seward was sixth.
At Nikiski, incidentally, Kodiak’s Levi Fried won the 9-10th Grade Division with 17:44, while Anne Trujillo of Grace had the best time of the day with 21:31, as she topped the Junior-Senior Division. Cheyenne Applegate of Grace led the way in the underclassmen division with 21:49 and Kodiak’s Adrienne Horne came home first in the Open race with 21:49. In Nome it was a brother – sister combo of Tim Schmidt (19:36) and Rosa Schmidt (22:49), who scored victories in the Classic.
Hopefully we will see young Ostrander make a bow later in the season on the national stage at Foot Locker West but she followed up her victory at Bartlett with an even faster victory at the Skyview Invitational in 17:37. Defending champion Jenette Northey garnered second in 18:50, as she edged Grace Graham by a second. Hannah Stevens (19:00) & Mariah Burroughs (19:03) placed 4th & 5th respectively. Levi Thomet ran 16:11 & Cole Christiansen followed a second later, as the Kodiak duo went 1 – 2 once again. Miles Knotek of Seward was timed in 16:18 for third, while Gilly Swezda-Middlestadt of Service (16:19) and Chris Osiensky of palmer took fifth (16:23).
In the tradition Steel Bucker Relays between Dimond & West Anchorage saw Wes prevail once again. Rachel Roelle of West had the fastest split with 9:12 for the girls & Iain Perry bested the guys with 7:50. At the Colony Twilight Meet Audrey Michaelson of Colony came away with a victory in 9:28, as she defeated Mariah Burroughs by four seconds. Jenna Ford of Wasilla earned third with 9:36. Chris Osiensky earned the guys’ laurels with 8:09, while Miles Knotek was only a second behind. Lyon Kopsack of Colony was third with 8:12.
The Interior Invitational saw the Colony girls & boys earned top honors in the team race over Lathrop but Brooke Lizotte of Lathrop ran away with the individual race with her 19:21. Audrey Michaelson was next best, as she led Colony with 20:37. Makenzie Thompson followed with 20:48, while Dorothy O’Donnell & Allison Hebard secured the next two places. Brandon Schafer led a trio of Colony boys, who swept the top three spots in the race with his 17:42. Lyon Kopsack & Boaz Sesson aided the Colony cause but Keegan Ragan & Sam King of Lathrop secured the next two places.
Tal Norval and Riley Moser of Juneau Douglas led the way at Sitka with their times of 16:45 & 17:01. Taylee Nyquest (19:17) of Thorne Bay edged Maddie Hall of Thunder Mountain, who was credited with the same time.
Elijah Armstrong hopes to follow Dallin Farnsworth as a Multiple State winner
Last year marked the first time in Idaho history that the state was represented by two runners at the Mecca of prep running, Foot Locker and, although Dallin Farnsworth and Emily Nist have moved on to the collegiate ranks the cupboard is hardly bare. To start with Elijah Armstrong is the defending State 4A champion and at the Pocatello Challenge he showed there is not likely to be a sophomore jinx. After defeating defending Champion Erik Harris last fall Erik promptly announced that Elijah “was the finest freshman in State history” and Elijah’s time of 16:18 on a tough course suggests the sky is the limit. Ryden Crowther was a distant second with 16:44. Third went to Haydin Herndon, Armstrong’s team mate. Rachel McGovern of Pocatello won her first invitational as a freshman with 19:37 and was followed by Hailey Ricks, who ran 20:03. Soda runners Cierra Simmons & Kelsey Yamauchi earned 3rd & 4th.
Mikayla Malaspina of Vallivue led her powerful team to a championship in the Jimmy Driscoll Invitational, while easily snatching individual honors with 19:19. That time bodes well for the future, as Emily Nist ran nineteen flat at the meet last year. Mikayla, incidentally, placed sixth in the race last year with 20:07 and then went on to finish 16th at the Foot Locker West Regional. Cheryn Trapp of Vallivue claimed second with 19:33 & Julia Taylor of Capital was distant third with 20:28. Jessica Horrocks led second place Centennial with 20:35 & Brooke Rawlins of Eagle was fifth with 20:38. Capital runners David Steele (16:51) & Jacob Davis (16:54) had their own private duel, as they easily handled the rest of the field. Scott Sullivan of Centennial edged Gabe Harm of Eagle by a second with his clocking of 17:09. The Bishop Kelly girls saw a fair number of their formidable team of the last few years graduate but their fourth place finish behind third place Capital still comes as a bit of a surprise.
The Camels Back Invitational saw Paige Dilmore of Rocky Mountain streak to an impressive victory in 18:57. That effort has to increase the stock value of Paige, who placed 35th at State last fall. Her effort was a very pleasant sign as was the second place effort of Sam McKinnon of Mountain View, who placed second with 19:12. Sam won this event a year ago in 19:32 and also won the Clash Valley. She had a major fourth place effort at the Nike Pre-National race in Portland before injuries compromised her season. For both Dilmore & McKinnon it is indeed a new year of promise. Dana Snell of RM took third in 19:41 and Borah’s Sara Christianson garnered fourth in 19:52. Rocky Mountain runners Kaylee Oyler & Julia Fretwell came home fifth & sixth. Justin Ross of Rocky Mountain placed fourth at State last fall & is on paper the second returnee behind Thomas Rigby. Ross led a phalanx of RM harriers, who swept the top ten places. His time of 16:40 gave him eight seconds to spare over David Covert. Nate Quist, Joe Giese, Jordon Wallin, Camron Pearce & Aden Kutsurelis completed the shut out.
Hannah McInturff continued the comeback theme with her triumph at Jerome. The Century runner, who had a banner track season did not compete in the sport last fall but her time of 20:13 is promising. Jasmine Nesbitt led a trio of Jerome runners, who secured the team triumph. Nesbitt ran 21:33 topping Kayla Green by three seconds & Abbie Craig, who placed fourth. Chase England of Wood River scored for the guys & his 17:57 was the only time under eighteen minutes. Austin Olcott of Century placed second & Bradford Craig led four Jerome runners across the finish line.
It was a Coeur d’ Alene day at the post Falls Invitational with both guys and girls easily claiming titles. Josie Brown of CDA led the way with team mates Punky Duran, Kara Story & Krista Story taking the next three places. The winning time was 20:16. Michael Dunston ran 17:21 as Riley Estes (17:39) & Kenny Colbert (17:52) followed suite. Sean Kelly of the home squad ran 18:06 to secure fourth.