Our weekly Monday News & Notes section takes a look at the Brooks Memphis Twilight CC Classic, which saw Kathy Kroeger demolish the compeitition by nearly two minutes, running 17:44 to win the invitational. Other highlights from the Brentsville Relays and the Centaur Invitational, while we highlight the week ahead.
Monday News & Notes (9/15)
Brooks Memphis Twilight CC Classic (TN)
Heading into this weekend many were wondering just how well Kathy Kroeger (Sr., Independence, TN) was prepared heading into the season. Her track season extended out to Nike Outdoor Nationals and last year she started a bit slower before really coming on at the end.
On Saturday Kroeger showed just what type of shape she is in, blitzing a field of solid competition, winning in 17:44. Her nearest competition came from last year's Foot Locker South top twelve finisher Kacey Nobert (So., St. Agnes, TN), who finished 1:43 behind in 19:27. Placing third was Mississippi star Katlyn Will (Sr., Corinth, MS) in 19:43.
West Plains (MO) won the team title with 61 points, well ahead of runner-up Tupelo (MS), who finished with 115 points. Daviess County (KY) placed third with 171 points.
West Plains also dominated the boys race, scoring 59 points to second place Daviess County's 105 points. West Plains used a tight pack to best the field, placing 4-9-14-15-17 for their top five, with their 6-7 not too far behind in 25th and 27th place.
Patrick McGregor (Sr., Hoover, AL) continued his winning ways, beating the field in the final 600m, using his strong kick to pull away. McGregor finished the 5k course in 15:58, with Tupelo teammates Max Holman and Nolan Pattadino finishing 2-3, with Holman crossing the line in 16:03. Philip Palomino led West Plains in fourth.
Brentsville Relays (VA)
Many of Virginia's top squads traveled to Brentsville High School (VA) Saturday to take part in the annual Brentsville Relays. This relay style invitational was held under the lights, with stormy weather making the course slippery and challenging, but helping the event be even more fun than it already normally is. (picture right by Ted Plunkett)
The top girls team on the day was Midlothian (VA) who easily ran away from the field, finishing well ahead of runner-up Lake Braddock (VA) 48:08-49:47. The powerhouse squad crushed the competition on the second leg and kept on going, with team front runner Kathleen Lautzenheiser finishing with the fastest relay split of the evening in 9:09.
Meanwhile, Atlee (VA) showed that they'll be a force in Virginia this year, besting the Class A field in 41:28. Their nearest competitors, Potomac Falls (VA) finished nearly forty seconds back in 42:04. The Class B race also had some solid competition, as Mountain View (VA) bested Midlothian (VA) by only five seconds, edging their in-state rival 42:44-42:49. Ben Dejarnette (Atlee, VA) ran the fastest time of the day in 7:23.
Centaur Invitational (PA)
Two of Pennsylvania's best got a chance to clash Saturday at the Centaur Invitational (PA). With such notable seniors as Chris Aldrich, Max Kaulbach and Vince McNally moving on to the collegiate level, there is now plenty of time for fresh faces to come up and assert their claim to be the state's top runner.
Two runners, Jimmy Tarshane (Perkiomen Valley, PA) (pictured left by Don Rich) and Michael Pierce (Holy Ghost Prep, PA), both wanted to prove they had what it takes to be the best in the state, and the two gave it all they had to the last stride. The two ran together much of the race, with Tarshane edging out Pierce slightly in the final straight, 16:04.2-16:05.8.
However, Pierce would ultimately help his squad place first in the team competition, scoring five runners in the top 24, and earning a 72-91 victory of Upper Dublin (PA). Upper Dublin ran strong as well, placing five in the top 27. Council Rock North (PA) placed third with 102 points.
In the girl's competition, Downingtown East (PA) edged Hatboro-Horsham (PA) 80-109, claiming victory. Elizabeth Simpson (Boyertown, PA) won the varsity 5k race in 19:25, six seconds ahead of her closest competitor.
The Week Ahead
Some big meets are coming up next weekend. The topper is the Bob Firman Invitational in Eagle, Idaho. For the past few year's many of the top teams out west have traveled to this meet to square off, seeing who has a shot to go to Nike Team Nationals. While the fields aren't as stacked with talent as in years past, there are still plenty of teams from a half dozen states that are all pretty good.
Perhaps the best of the squads is U.S. #1 North Central (WA). Two weeks ago this team took on many of the top teams in Washington and easily ran through the competition. This time around North Central will face many challengers they rarely see, but this squad is talented up top and very deep.
The Peoria Notre Dame Invitational (IL) is another one to watch. U.S. ranked Naperville North (IL) takes on a bevy of talent from Illinois and Iowa, hoping to show that their early season success is an indication of things to come. Led by front runner Kyle Gibson, North has a 1-5 no one in state has seemingly matched yet.
The Texas A&M Invitational (TX) is a large invitational in Texas, where many of the better teams and individuals in the state will be, while the Hershey Cross Country Invitational (PA) and Astronaut Invitational (FL) host many of their respective state's top talent as well.