by Taylor Eldridge
As part of (week)daily series profiling the area’s cross country, Monday’s will be dedicated to Weekend Update. Sadly, there will be no Jimmy Fallon, or Tina Fey. Or even Amy Poehler. But I will include a funny political joke for good taste. And by the way, does anyone watch Jimmy now that he has his own show? He’s getting better…
But I digress. There are more important things at hand, which include reviewing this last week in races. To start the season off, we had the Clearwater Invitational on Thursday and the results here. Then on Saturday we had a full slate of meets, which can be viewed here. Full results can be viewed at our lovely kiosk – aptly named Cross Country Central – here.
So click the jump for the roundup featuring analysis and plenty of coach’s thoughts. But not before you get your joke I promised. This was from Craig Ferguson.
Never miss a local story.
“Jenna Bush was hired as a correspondent for the ‘Today’ show. People are wondering if her dad was a factor in her getting the job. If he was, it looks like she overcame it and got the job anyway.”
I thought it was funny. But anyways, let’s dive in. The way I am going to do this is go team-by-team at whatever meet they were at and identify what you can take away from the meet and the team’s positive/good sign. Now let the fun begin.
J.K. Gold Classic
What to take away: Both teams are too young to compete right now. Week one showed that this season will be a developing year for the runners. Expect big improvement next year.
Good sign: Seeing Laura Sellew start the season off with a 9th place finish is very encouraging. Her time of 16:46 was right where coaches wanted to see her at and she should be making a return trip to state this season.
What to take away: Both teams are very young, and very inexperienced. I don’t think anyone was expecting either of the teams to compete this season and the first meet showed that. But every week the coaches will be looking for individual improvement from each runner.
Good sign: Laryssa Overby nearly cracked the top 30 in the girls’ 4k. She ran a time of 18:39. Breaking 18 minutes would be a good sign for any of the runners this season.
What to take away: The boys team is reloading, not rebuilding as some might have thought. Gone are two of the best, but sophomore Bryant Keirns is finally healthy and is stepping into the role of No. 1 runner very nicely. Brock Nooney is always consistent, and the emergence of Jeremy Shear, Cooper Clark and Chris Kelly make Campus a legit team contender again. The girls team didn’t have enough for a team, but Ashley Krier (15th at 17:16), Briana Binger (28th at 18:16) and Bailey Clark (30th at 18:28) ran solid races.
Good sign: Shear, Clark and Kelly running in the top-20. Shear was the JV’s top runner last season, Clark was the No. 7 on varsity last year and Kelly is a first-year runner. Now, they are in the top 5 of varsity and are making Campus another contender. Very, very good signs to come for Campus.
What to take away: East may have been a little disappointed in its boys team finish (5th), but Aaron Heil (9th at 17:04) and Will Marsh (17th at 17:30) ran solid races. Jesse Parker (21st at 17:37), David Perales (27th at 18:00) and Jacob Seamster-Davis (37th at 18:36) rounded out. The boys look to be solid in the top four, but will look to improve on the 5th runner’s time. I don’t see how the girls team could have ran a better race. They finished second with top runner Laura Combs finishing 5th in 16:36 then had an amazing pack of runners finish 14th-24th (Aubrey Smading 17:14, Cate Dunn 17:39, Lauren Graber 17:40, Abby Amstutz 17:43, Hannah Smith 17:45, Emma Lavacek 17:50).
Good sign: That many girls (6) running together. If you have all seven of your runners breaking 18 minutes, that’s going to set up for a pretty good team. East has the top runner locked down in Combs, and if the pack behind her can run in bunches like theyd did in week one then East will be running as a team at state.
What to take away: Molly Milbourn is a stud. She ran a 15:18 without any push. If she stays healthy, don’t expect her to lose another race this season. The team actually did a little better than I thought they would do too. Hannah Helferich (17:32), Laura Haines (17:41), Samantha Gailley (18:08) and Sydney Saltsman (18:44) rounded out the team score. If No.’s 4 and 5 can lower their times, Eldo might have a shot at a team qualification. On the guys side, Casey Nightengale ran a good race for 11th in 17:09 and Dale Nuckolls was top-2o too in a time of 17:36. Outside of those two, the boys team will need to improve for a team state berth.
Good sign: Milbourn starts the season off like she ended it last season – a winner. She’ll be the favorite to win in virtually every race she runs, so taking care of the easy ones with good times is just as important to her development.
What to take away: Adam Porter looked dominant. First race of the season and he is already breaking 16 minutes? Now that is pretty crazy right there. He is a man on a mission. The Pups had a good pack behind him too in Morgan Peterson (12th at 17:14), Nikolous Rempe (16th at 17:27) and Caleb Porter (18th at 17:30), but the fall-off is huge for the 5th runner at 19:08. If McPherson can find a 5th, then the team score will be very good. Andrea Nowak (8th at 16:42) and Emily Reese (12th at 17:04) will be the two consistents atop the lineup, but the team overall will be young and looking to just develop this season.
Good sign: Porter already breaking 16 minutes. It’s pretty obvious the three state titles he won last spring weren’t enough. He wants another one. If he can continue this pace, then no one will be able to touch him at state. To say the least, very good first race of the season by him.
What to take away: Barring any freak injuries or accidents, Mulvane will win the team state title again. Surprise, surprise. The top four were in the top seven. The fifth was 15th. There was a little bit of a falloff after that (28th and 31st) , but what’s there to worry about with this top 5: Nikki Trooien-Smith, Evan Landes, Wyatt James, Josh Hansen, Nick Lockwood.
Good sign: Top four in the top 7 of the race. Tough to pinpoint any one good sign when the whole team is as dominant as this.
Bishop Carroll Invitational at Lake Afton