Northwest Review
(weekend of 9/27/14)

This was a big weekend with the Conner Mantz & Makena Morley making statements at the Bob Firman meet in Idaho.   John Dressel and Ella Donaghu represented the region at Stanford, while the Danner race highlighted action in Oregon.   Alaskan runners qualified at the various regional venues with Allie Ostrander & Levi Thomet punching their tickets.

Bob Firman Invite
Sat.  Sept. 27, 2014   Eagle Island State Park  5K

The Bob Firman Invitational has been the premier meet in the Northwest for some time now but that status was reaffirmed on Saturday, when a phalanx of elite runners challenged the course and each other.   The course at Eagle Island can be daunting for most runners, because it features a formidable hill, which must be traversed twice and it includes areas of sand & uneven surface, which can make it difficult to maintain a fluid stride.    On Saturday three-time Foot Locker National finalist Makena Morley glided over the terrain in facile fashion recording a stunning course record of 17:24.6.  What made her time even more surprising is that this is just an early season race and her goal is to be one of the very few four-time Foot Locker finalists.    The fastest time times recorded here & had always been at the end of the season at the Northwest Regional, when runners attempt to qualify for the Mud-Bowl in Portland. Last fall Alexa Efraimson established the course standard of 17:27.1, as she  took down the 2012 mark of 17:29.3 of Amy-Eloise Neale of Glacier Peak yet Morley still made a solid improvement on the mark.

The defending Montana State champion was challenged Lucy Biles of Herriman (Utah), who  was clocked in 17:42.9.   Biles, a 2013 Foot Locker finalist,  recorded the fifth fastest time here  with only Katie Knight’s  17:40 also being faster.    Aubrey Argyle, who had triumphed at both the BYU & Aggie meets earlier in the season, ran an excellent time of 17:43 while placing third.   Bryn Morley, a freshman, suggested she one day might challenge his sister’s record as she chimed in fourth place time of 17:51.  Former Idaho State champion Emily Hamlin of Boise ran a fine 18:02, yet was relegated to fifth place.

Alyssa Snyder of Park City finished sixth in 18:08 and Mikayla Malaspina of Vallivue followed in seventh with a time of 18:21.  Malaspina is also a Foot Locker finalist, which gives an indication of the quality of the field, which saw Marlee Mitchell of Bingham take eighth (18:23).   Ally Geisler of David garnered ninth in 18:27 edging Sara Mussleman of Lehi, who shared a version of the time and Cami Squires of American Fork rounded out the top eleven with 18:27.

Although a course record did not fall, Conner Mantz of Sky View and Tanner Anderson of North Central provided fireworks, when they view for the boy’s title.  Mantz, a two-time Foot Locker National Finalist, pulled away late to record a victory in 14:51.  His time is second only to that of Luke Puskedra, who went on to star for the University of Oregon and it gave him a four second margin over Anderson.  Elijah Armstrong of Pocatello zipped home in a brisk 15:06 but the 2013 Foot Locker runner was only third.  Joshua Collins of Wasatch ran 15:17 to take fourth and Scott Kopczynski of East-Valley (Spokane) edged Stockton Smith of Davis by a second to earn fifth in 15:31.   His team mate Josh Ward ran 15:33 and Jake Finney of Lake City followed him home in eighth with 15:36.  Paul Ryan of Logos claimed ninth in 15:38 and Alek Parsons of Ogden clocked 15:39.  Dwain Stucker of Meridian, an Idaho State champion, crossed the finish line in eleventh with 15:40.

Danner  (Nike) Invitational
Sat. Sept. 27, 2014    Portland Meadows   5K
Tristan Peloquin of Gig Harbor ran away from a decent field to claim the Jim Danner championship. Tristan gave evidence that he is capable of qualifying for Foot Locker like his older brother Conner, who now runs for BYU, by defeating Isaac Cortes of Great Oak by six seconds.   Spencer Dodds, Cortes’ team mate, claimed third with 15:23 and Reilly Bloomer of South Eugene earned honors as the top Oregon finisher with his fourth place time of 15:30.   Michael Slagowski of Rocky Mountain placed fifth in 15:34 to edge Ahmed Muhumed of West Salem by a second.    Cole Christman of Wenatchee nipped Drew Schultz of Capital with both clocking 15:39:  a time that will be hard to match on this course, which will be a quagmire in December.

Destiny Collins of Great Oak followed up her victories at Ventura & Woodbridge with a romp at Portland Meadows.   Her time of 17:09.84 easily established a new record of the bales of hay and earned a victory by forty seconds over Dani Jones of Desert Vista.    We can only hope that this year she accepts the challenge of Foot Locker.     Jones, who resides in Arizona, easily topped Brianna Bartello of Laguna Hills, who ran 18:05.  Amber Gore of Redondo Union annexed fourth with her time of 18:08 and Erin Ripple of Holy Names Academy took fifth in 18:10, which also earned her the distinction of being the first finisher from the Northwest.

Baylee Jones of Desert Vista was credited with sixth in the same time, as she finished together with Ripple and Nicole Griffiths of Sunset was the first Oregonian with 18:13.  Brenna Peloquin of Gig Harbor claimed eighth with 18:15 and Gracie Todd of Sheldon ran 18:22 for ninth.   Audrey Huelskamp of Sunset rounded out the top ten with her mark of 18:26 and Jordan Oakes of Holy Names followed a second later in eleventh.    Another bright spot of the event was the twelfth place finish of Sara Tsai of South Eugene.  Sara has been forced to overcome a litany of physical problems but she seems set to reclaim a position at Foot Locker Nationals.


Stanford Cross Country Invitational
Saturday, September 27, 2014   Stanford   5K
This California race always boasts a fine field and Northwest runners have a tradition of quality efforts here.   This year John Dressel of Mt. Spokane took the measure of a stellar field and won with relative ease with his time of 14:51.   That swift effort gave him an eight second margin of Nathan Tadesse of North Surrey (British Columbia), who edged Phillip Rocha of Arcadia by a second.   John’s brother Hayden placed sixteenth in the field and his time of 15:35 was the fastest time by a sophomore.

Ella Donaghu of Grant made the region proud by placing second in the Girls’ Sweepstakes division with her time of 17:14.  That time gave her a 26 second margin over Nicole Hutchinson of Sentinel, yet was far behind the blistering mark of Fiona O’Keefe of Davis, who was a Foot Locker finalist two years ago as a freshman.


Bellevue Invite
Saturday, September 27, 2014

Andrea Masterson of Lakeside ran away from her running partner Sophie Cantine and triumphed in a time of 17:22.   Cantine placed second in 18:10 and record the second-fastest female time, as Micaela Kostecka of Mt. Spokane won another division with 18:50.

Andy Reishling of Seattle dueled Nick Martin of Sammamish & Ben Mahony of Eisenhower, as all three easily posted the fastest times of the day.  Reishling won with 15:55, as Martin (15:56) & Mahony (15:57) took second & third.


Madras Invite
Saturday, September 27, 2014   Kah-Nee-Ta Resort   5K
Justice Lamer of Crescent Valley was victorious with a time of 16:04 but Steven Cranston of Canby led a sweep of the next three places, as Canby came away with the team title.   Cranston ran 16:19 and was aided in the team effort by Quinton Wiltshire & Ethan Patterson.   McKenna Henke of CV topped the gals with 19:37 and Oregon City harrier Allie Edwards was second with 20:16.



Region III
Defending State champions Levi Thomet of Kodiak & Allie Ostrander posted fine times.  Foot Locker National finalist Thomet ran 6:03, while Ostrander clocked 17:48.

Region IV
Ty Jordan of Chugiak (16:01) & Morgan Lash of South Anchorage (19:09) won easily.

Region VI
West Valley runners took the team & individual honors with Jenna Difolco (19:34) & Max Donaldson (16:58) leading the way.

Region II
Briahna Gerlach, the defending small school champion, won with 18:24 & her Glenallen Jordan Sondergaard  was the best of the guys with 17:34.

Region V
They ran at Ward Lake in Ketchikan and had to pause action, when a black bear ventured onto the course, but all was fine at the end of the day.  Taylee Nyquest of Thorne Bay won her division with 19:47 & Naomi Welling of Thunder Mountain the 19:32.  Riley Moser of Juneau Douglas led the boys with 16:41.