East West Senior All-Star Race 2009

Magnuson Park, Seattle

Mixed 5k Run CC



The East West Senior All-Star race is a tradition for Washington runners that has existed for most of the past decade. Its history includes a victory by Carl Moe & a great duel between Footlocker finalists Jake Riley & Max O’Donoghue-McDonald. Aside from the unique competition the race also provides scholarships for the State’s runners. The understanding that $4,000 was to be divided this year & with our present economy one can not say barely enough for just that aspect of the race. The effort is the result of the Washington coaches association with the support of Super Jock ‘n Jill.

Magnuson Park offers a very fine cross country course. Although I would not consider it difficult, running the moderately-steep hill three times makes it a very fine challenge. Add to that the aspect of running near Lake Washington with views of Mt. Rainier looming in the background and you have all the elements of challenge plus great scenery. The course is certainly a pleasure after the basic parking-lot venues the northwest tends to offer.

A summer race for graduating seniors can be an iffy proposition with all the activities facing graduating seniors. That was on display on Sunday as some runners were forced to by-pass the meet, while the competitors on hand displayed a range of sentiments. One runner noted, as he charged up the first hill at Magnuson Park on Lake Washington, that he had geared his training for this meet. Others on the other hand noted that it was difficult to train while working a summer job to aid in raising money for college.

That said there was some spirited competition & the race began with Julian Blake-Cowan from Auburn Riverside (3rd in 4A last fall) doing battle with Jonathon Phillips (121st - 4A) & Simon Sorenson (5th - 4A). They raced along the mostly flat terrain through the area with airplane tails buried in the ground in procession-like format with Quinn Chasan (35th - 3A) & Dan Issa (13th - 2A) in tow.

On the hill it was Cowan, who made a move to take a slight lead. Behind him were Phillips & Tate Kelly (28th - 4A). Cowan crested the top of the hill & forged a good 10 meter lead as if he was going to break open the race, but once at the bottom he was rejoined by Kelly & Phillips while Sorenson attempted to retain contact. Nick Smith (7th - 1A) loomed close behind them.

Sorenson assumed the lead shortly thereafter but Cowan & Kelly remained in close pursuit. After reaching the start they began to retrace their steps and it was Phillips, who made a move the ascent of the hill the second time. Cowan & Kelly gave chase while Sorenson struggled to stay near the leaders. Behind them trailed Kevin Aubol of Ellensburg (14th - 2A) & Quinn Chasen.

Cowan assumed command once again as they headed back down the hill but it was now just a three-man race as they raced back to the start & then proceeded to run a stretch along the lake shore. Kelly & Phillips were close behind but soon Kelly put in a surge that his challengers attempted to answer. At that time it was thirty meters back to the fourth runner. Kelly continued to roll and soon only Julian Cowan had any chance of winning. After the hill Kelly erased any doubts and broke away & raced to a victory in a time of 16:32. Julian Blake-Cowan held on, as Phillips made a late charge, to win by four seconds with a time of 16:46. Simon Sorenson placed 4th just ahead of the late-closing Brian Sutter (38th - 4A). Kevin Aubol edged Arick Zachman (6th - 2A) by less than a second with a time of 16:56. Ryan Chapman finished 8th in 17:01 besting state 2A champion James Currell by a second. Tyler King (22nd - 4A) earned tenth.

Charting the girls’ race was a bit more difficult as they raced against each other amidst the guy’s struggle. At the start the leaders were Ciara Rose-Witt (29th - 1A) & Maria Ujifusa (80th - 4A. Ciara took a slight lead the first time up the hill trailed by a pack that included Breanna Huscka (21st 4A), Lacey Nation ((21st - 2A)& Carey Paker (3rd - 2A). A bit behind them were Brittany Hungerford (87th - 4A) & Veronica Puente (40th - 1A).

Brittany was easily the superior downhill runner & she bolted ahead, as she headed back to the road. A pack of around ten leaders followed, whose leaders included Phoebe Merritt (15th - 3A), Erin Hegerty (6th - 3A) & Breanna Huschka. Shortly after reaching the bottom of the hill Carey Parker took the lead and she held on until they reached ‘kite hill’ once again.

The challenge of the hill saw Parker fall behind a quartet that included Hegerty, Huschka, Chiara Rose-Witt & Lacey Nation (21st -2A). Another five to ten yards back trailed Alanna Steele (16th - 3A) & Kristi Fairbanks (43rd - 4A).

The closing portion of the race saw Erin Hegerty assume command & she won by six seconds with a time of 19:34, as Alanna Steele claimed second. Phoebe Merritt made a drive to capture third (20:03) and Breanna Huschka took 4th. In fifth was Lacey Nation (20:10) & Kristi Fairbanks earned sixth. The rest of the top ten included Emily Wallen (8th - 3A in 20:34), Emilie Gilbert, Carey Parker & Maria Ujifusa.

Good luck to all the senior as they move on to the collegiate level. The race incidentally is geared toward seniors but some underclass runners participated just like Annie Moore, who finished 2nd as a sophomore. Annie will return for her senior campaign & Erin Hegerty will also be back as she is but a sophomore this fall