Weekend Highlights: Haile Impresses in Virginia, US#1 North Central Wins Firman

The results keep flying in and the final tallies are showing some interesting stories across the nation. Top teams and individuals from coast to coast had much to prove this weekend, as the national level competitions really took off. Individuals like Solomon Haile and Jillian Smith showed their talents at the highest levels, while Saratoga Springs and North Central proved why they are two of the top teams in the country. See what else took place in our weekend highlights and results section.

Bowdoin Park Classic / Bob Firman Invitational / John Martin Invitational / Oatlands Invitational / Hershey CC Invitational / McCallie Invitational / Cherokee Challenge / Trinity-Valkyrie Invitational / Peoria Notre Dame Invitational /

Weekend Highlights & Results (9/19-9/21)

Bowdoin Park Classic (NY)

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With numerous state and nationally ranked teams competing in this year's edition of the Bowdoin Park Classic, upsets were bound to happen. Perhaps the biggest upset of the day came in the boys varsity race, which saw U.S. #2 Shenendehowa (NY) and U.S. #8 Morris Hills (NJ) fall to unranked Christian Brothers Academy (NJ). CBA scored 80 points, topping Shenendehowa by 14 points and Morris Hills by 25 points. Germantown Friends (PA) placed fourth with 127 points.

Individually, Sean Pohorence (Morris Hills, NJ) beat the field by 15 seconds, running away to a 16:06 victory over the 5k course. Mark Leininger (Colts Neck, NJ) finished second in 16:21.

The girls race was equally as exciting, seeing U.S. top ten Lincoln-Sudbury (MA) fall to Shenendehowa (NY), in a close battle that finished in a 55-60 score. Emmaus (PA) finished third with 80 points, while Voorhees (NJ) finished fourth with 150 points.

Overall, Melanie Thompson (Sr., Voorhees, NJ) and Lizzie Predmore (Shenendehowa, NY) ran away from the field. Thompson edged Predmore over the final quarter mile, winning in 18:23. Predmore still finished strong in 18:27. No other competitor broke 19 minutes outside of these two.

Bob Firman Invitational (ID)

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U.S. #1 North Central (WA) drove to Saturday's Bob Firman Invitational knowing that they would have to compete at the top of their game if they hoped to win. While the field was not as strong in year's past, there were still many top ranked squads from Idaho and Utah.

Running in their typical pack like format, North Central easily won the boys varsity competition, besting U.S. ranked Timpview (UT) 51-115, the squad showed why they have the top ranking in the land. Andrew Kimpel (North Central, WA) placed second overall in 15:55, four seconds behind race champion Jonathan Nelson (Timpview, UT). Kimpel's teammate Jeff Howard placed third five seconds behind in 16:00.

Davis (UT) impressed in the girls varsity race, winning the varsity race without top runner Candace Eddy. Eddy, who's close to coming back into the lineup, would have improved Davis' score even more so, as the squad won with a score of 64 points, 22 points ahead of runner-up Mountain View (UT). What won the race for Davis was their 3-4 runners, who packed it up nicely and easily distanced themselves from Mountain View's 3-4 runners.

Individually it was a Utah state battle as well. Shalaya Kipp (Sr., Skyline, UT) beat freshman Danielle Menlove (Jordan, UT) at the line, 18:28.24-18:28.76. Kipp and Menlove ran the entire race stride for stride, with Kipp just edging Menlove at the line. Both these athletes are running at the top of their game recently and are looking like the top two runners in Utah.

John Martin Invitational (CO)

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Article by Alan Versaw (ColoradoTrackXC.com)

The John Martin Invitational, hosted by Ft Collins High School, provided plenty of surprises for and by the nearly 30 teams in attendance. Lambkins’ head coach and meet director Chris Suppes was forced to delay the start of the varsity races as a small but powerful thunderstorm set up shop directly over the campus-based course.

But, once the storm blew through, it was up to the runners to throw some lightning bolts of their own. The Greeley West boys showed they deserve some serious consideration in the 4A ranks with a 57-66-68 win over Laramie (WY) and D’Evelyn in the Division 2 race. The West trio of Kody Leach (3rd), Evert Finger (7th) and Dylon Koehnran(9th) ran from the front the whole way and offset the commanding individual win by the Jaguars’ Tim Muller (16:35.4).

The D-1 girls’ race matched the state’s #1 4A and 5A squads. This time, the girls from Thompson Valley prevailed on the strength of sixth-place runner Katie Biedron’s 27th-place finish. The Lambkins and Eagles were tied at 70 through five runners, but Fort Collins’ sixth runner could only manage a 71st-place finish, giving TVHS the win.

5A #4 Cherry Creek was third with 116 points.

Collins was without regular #2 runner Rachel Viger, held out by Coach Suppes after being ill during the week. Thompson Valley senior Laura Tremblay won the individual race, showing her 400/800 speed over the final meters to defeat Cherry Creek’s Clare Gallagher with a time of 18:27.1. Click Here for Rest of Article

Oatlands Invitational (VA)

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The invitational debut of NIN and NON 5k champion Solomon Haile (Sr., Sherwood, MD) was all the talk Saturday at the Oatlands Invitational. After moving to the United States last year in early fall, Haile had to sit out the cross country season. During the track season he proved time and again that he would be a contender for all-American status this fall and in the 5k race at Oatlands he showed that he is fully qualified over the cross country course.

Haile pulled away in the final parts of the race to beat a very strong field with a finishing mark of 15:25. Haile's closest competitor was Tyler Stutzman (Sr., Western Albemarle, VA), who finished second in 15:44, beating Foot Locker qualifier Thomas Porter (Sr., Mountain View, VA) over the final quarter mile, as Porter finished third in 15:49.

In the team race, Oakton (VA) showed that they were the best on the day in the boys varsity, winning the team title by placing their top five between finishing positions of 15-40. Their 33 second spread was too much to match.

Meanwhile, Saratoga Springs (NY) won the varsity girls race by scoring 33 points, 173 points ahead of their closest competition. Scoring five runners in the top eleven, with a 17 second split and a 19:14 average, Saratoga looked like the nationally ranked squad they've been all season thus far. Led by the 3-4-5 finish of Sydney King, Cassie Goutos and Keelin Hollowood, Saratoga made a statement that they should be considered among the teams to challenge for the national title in 2008.

Individually, Kate Rosettie (Corning) and Kaitlyn Davis (Mountain View) went 1-2, with Rosettie winning by seven seconds in 18:54. Davis finished in a time of 19:01.

Hershey CC Invitational (PA)

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Story by Aaron Rich (PennTrackXC.com)

Lewisburg won the girl's varsity blue race behind the dominating performance of their top-3. Sophia Ziemian won the race with the fastest time of the day, Kiah Hardcastle finished 3rd, and Shannon Wright was 6th in. Union City put together an impressive run to finish 20 points behind Lewisburg in 2nd place with 93 points. Central Cambria rounded out the top 3 with 152 points.

In the boy's varsity blue race North East used a gutsy strategy to win the meet with 74 points, and in the process showed their AA dominance. North East got out to an early advantage with 4 runners in the lead at 800 meters, with the 5-6 runners only 20 meters back. By the end of the race that spread grew to 1:09, but with 5 runners in the top-26 North East came away with a 74 to 98 win over Holy Redeemer. Elk Lake finished a close 3rd with 109 points and an impressive 38 second spread. Click Here for Full Story

McCallie Invitational (TN)

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Oak Ridge (TN) and Baylor (TN) came to the McCallie Invitational Saturday with something to prove and both squads went home with team trophies. Oak Ridge won the girls competition over Baylor 29-66, while the Baylor boys beat a strong Hoover (AL) team 44-62.

Both winning squads followed great performances individually. On the boys side Bill Matthews (Sr., Baylor, TN) beat a strong field in 15:40, winning by 27 seconds. Pre-race favorite Patrick McGregor (Sr., Hoover, AL) finished seventh overall, showing signs of distress over the final mile.

In the girls race Amber Zimmerman (Webb School, TN) won the 5k race in 18:57, beating Melanie Kulesz (Oak Ridge, TN) by four seconds. Kulesz led a strong top three that all finished under 19:12, while Oak Ridge also placed their entire top five in the top twelve.

Cherokee Challenge (NJ)

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What was anticipated was a clash between two of the best runners in the country, Robby Andrews (Sr., Manalapan, NJ) and Brett Johnson (Sr., Ocean City, NJ). Both runners had shown tremendous miler speed on the track, while gaining strength to make a push towards Foot Locker Nationals or NXN this fall. However, Andrews turned out to be the only one to compete on the day, as Johnson sat out due to injury (precautionary measures).

Andrews won the senior boys race by 15 seconds, beating the field with a 9:37 time over the 3200m course. The best time of the day on the boys side came in the junior class race, which saw Jonathan Vitez (Haddonfield Memorial, NJ) beat a very strong and deep field over the final half mile, pulling away for a 9:36 finishing time. David Forward (Shawnee, NJ) placed second in 9:43.

Overall, W-W-P (NJ) won the team title, which combined the top finisher in each class race, taking home the title over Southern (NJ) 42-45. On the girls side Tatnall (DE) crushed the field by scoring a mere 14 points, with Southern (NJ) placing second with 41 points.

Tatnall's dominance came from each class, with Juliet Bottorff leading the way for her squad by placing second in the senior race. Jillian Smith (Southern, NJ) beat Bottorff to the line for a bit win in 10:41, while Bottorff finished second in 11:04. Perhaps the most impressive stat from Tatnall was their top five overall finishers on the day all ran at or under 11:33 for the 3200m race.

Foot Locker qualifier Chelsea Ley ( Kingsway, NJ) easily won the girls junior race, breaking 11 with a 10:59 clocking.

Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational (KY)

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Carmel (IN) entered Friday's Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational in Kentucky as the heavy favorite to take home both the boys and girls team titles. That "favorite" status came true, as both Greyhound squads look dominant yet again this season.

Running in their typical pack fashion, the Carmel boys ran through their competition to score a strong 39-80 win over Centerville (OH). The squad followed the lead of Dan Kinn, who placed second behind Ryan Eaton (Jr., Greenwood, KY) 15:32-15:41. Carmel split 22 seconds 1-5, while placing five in the top 13. Shawn Roberts placed third in 15:41 to lead Centerville.

On the girls side, Carmel bested the field by an even greater margin than their male counterparts, beating Kentucky power Assumption 26-101 for the team title. Freshman Renee Wellman led the team with a first place finish in 18:11, while the team placed five in the top 12. A strong 56 second split and 18:35 5k average also meant positive signs of improvement for Carmel.

Peoria Notre Dame Invitational (IL)

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Last weekend in Peoria, Illinois, downpoaring rain made the Peoria Woodruff Invitational nearly impossible to run. This Saturday, the Peoria Notre Dame Invitational was run on the same course, the Illinois State Meet course, but the weather conditions were a bit more favorable to the runners.

The closest and most exciting battle of the day came in the boys varsity race, which saw Sandburg (IL) edge Palatine (IL) 104-105, based off a review in the final team scoring. At the conclusion of the meet, the results showed that Palatine and Sandburg had each tied at 104 points, with Palatine winning on the sixth man tie-breaker.

However, after a coach's challenge from Lyons Township, stating that their top runner beat Palatine's top runner to the finish line, the ruling committee bumped Lyons Township's top runner ahead of Palatine's, giving Palatine another point to their total, thus Sandburg winning the team title.

Despite all the post-race dramatics, the actual race played out very well. Zach Dahleen (Sr., Sandburg, IL) overtook a strong pack of a half dozen runners in the final mile, gapping the field in the last 400 meters to win the race in 14:45. Schaumburg junior Pat Lesiewicz placed second in 14:51, while Downers Grove North junior Ben Silver placed third in 14:55.

Meanwhile, the Palatine girls won the varsity title with a strong team race, placing their top five in the top 30 and scoring a 95-148 victory over York (IL). The most impressive performance individually also came in this race, as Lindsay Flanagan (Sr., Lake Park, IL) ran away from the strong field right from the start, winning the race by 41 seconds in 17:04. Palatine sophomore Sarah McIntosh placed second in 17:45.