Bob Firman Invitational
Saturday, September 21, 2013 Eagle Island SP 5K
In the past decade the Firman Invitational has grown into the Northwest’s premier meet during the regular season and this year ‘s event continued that trend. A stellar field, a classic course and a brilliant fall day with temperatures all contributed to an harrier fan’s delight. Leading the charge were Lucy Biles of Herriman & Taylor Wilmot of North Central, who rolled to solid victories. Biles set a meet record & Wilmot was not too far away from one.
With three-time Firman champion Katie Knight moving to the collegiate ranks along with Foot Locker national finalist Summer Harper Biles was the highest placing returnee from the previous year, and on paper a modest favorite. That said Biles had lost previously this fall to Sarah Feeney, who earned a Foot Locker last season. Such is the quality these days at Firman, that are a fair number of runners, who have to be consider legitimate challengers and this fall they included Brenna Peloquin, coming off a sizzling victory at Sundodger, and Emily Hamlin, the returning Idaho 5A State champion.
Still, as good as the field was, only Alyssa Snyder of Park City who could truly challenge Biles and Feeny. In the end no one was able to stay with Lucy on this day and she stormed over the hills to win in a time of 17:57 and in so doing shaved two seconds off of Knight’s meet record, which she established last year in her third triumph. I would not the time is not near the course record set by Amy-Eloise Neale in last fall’s Northwest Regional but that is an end of the season race and not early like yesterday’s event. Sarah Feeny of Ogden placed second in 18:10, which at first glance might not seem quite so impressive until one realizes that her time would have easily won in any other non-Knight year. That is of note, when we view the past winners of this meet that include Liz Brandon, Nicole Nielsen, Candace Eddy & Dana Morgan, and they are just the winners.
Former Washington State champion Alyssa Andrews & Idaho State champion Emily Nist ran here Alyssa Snyder garnered third with 18:17, which would also have often claimed laurels. Taylor Cox of Davis placed fourth in 18:22, while her team mate Aubrey Argyle placed fifth in 18:23 just nipping Whitney Rich of Bingham, who has a number of fine races to her credit this season. Sophie McDonald of Park City took seventh in 18:28 ahead of Mary Christensen of Timpanogos, who ran 18:32. Ninth went to Maddie Criscione (18:35), who is also from PC. Hannah Albrechtsen of Davis came in tenth with 18:37 and Brenna Peloquin was eleventh in 18:40. Emily Hamlin rounded out the top dozen runners a second later, as she earned the distinction as the top Idaho finisher. Other runners of note included Mikayla Malaspina of Vallivue (15th – 18:43) and Paige Dilmore of Rocky Mountain (19th – 18:53).
Davis cruised to victory with 51 points and was followed by Park City, which edged Skyline 143 – 145. American Fork was fourth with 165. While we are on the team results, the Gig Harbor guys dominated their competition with only 63 points. Perennial power North Central was distant second with 149m while Bingham took third with 186. Ogden (206) and Kamiakin (218) garnered fourth & fifth.
Taylor (Kai) Wilmot has been limited by persistent physical but on Saturday he outran a strong field with a time of15:09. That time would have been a record had Joe Hardy not run 15:03 in the race last year. Any other year, his time would have won and usually won big. It is worthy of note that the names of the guys is even better than the girls for it includes Foot locker finalists Dallin & Taylor Farnsworth, Miles Unterreiner & Connor Peloquin: keeping in mind that Luke Puskedra & Ben Saarel failed to even win here. Wilmot was able to gap a strong field and left Elijah Armstrong, two-time Idaho champion, to duel with Wolfgang Beck of Gig Harbor, who was second in Washington 4A last year. Beck passed late to claim second in 15:15. Pocatello’s Armstrong won the battle of four precocious junior, as he edged Foot locker finalist John Dressel with both being credited with 15:19. Conner Mantz, yet another Foot Locker finalist, finished fifth in 15:24, just a second ahead of Tanner Anderson of North Central. Andrew Foerder, a senior from Nathan Hale, came in seventh in 15:28 & Andrew Rafla. Rafla of Timberlake is having a banner XC campaign. Nicholas Hauger of Shadle Park came in ninth in 15:36 with two seconds to spare over Logan Carroll of Gig Harbor.
Coming into the meet there was debate about how strong a team Gig would have and the assumption was that GH had a weak link, especially in relationship to perennial power North Central but Logan was the second finisher from Gig and right after Kramer Morton of Alta came home 11th in 15:40 Tristan Peloquin took twelfth (15:44) for GH. Gig runners Mahmoud Moussa was the fourth runner from the harbor at 21st with a time of 16:06 and the team score was completed by Michael Hammer, who placed 35th in 16:23. That is a strong top five especially when you consider the course.
Other runners of note included Rick Faure (14th – 15:53) of Rock Springs, a two-time Wyoming State champion, and Sam Levora of Sandpoint (16th – 15:59), who won the Coeur d’Alene Invitational this year. The other varsity races were annexed by D’Artagnan Kilgore of Highland – Pocatello in 16:1 and Miranda O’Very of Mountain Crest, who clocked 19:05.