With so much action this past weekend, our coverage spilled over Monday into our weekly News & Notes section. The Woodbridge and Mt. Carmel Invitationals are highlighted, which saw some impressive individual and team results, including a few upsets. See what else took place, as well as our weekly look ahead.
Monday News & Notes (9/22)
Woodbridge Invitational (CA)
Many of the top teams and individuals in California traveled to the Woodbridge Invitational Saturday to take part in one of the best west coast invitationals seen throughout the cross country season. With U.S. ranked Buchanan (CA) leading the boys field and U.S. #1 Saugus (CA) leading the girls field, there was much to talk about when the results were made final.
Saugus dominated the girls race, beating The Woodlands (TX) 44-117. The squad placed four runners in the top eleven, while running a 37 second split 1-5. Once again sophomore Kaylin Mahoney led the way for her team, placing fourth in 17:03, while senior teammate Brianna Jauregui placed fifth in 17:11.
The Woodlands earned a one point at the top of their team scoring, as junior Sarah Andrews continued her dominating ways this fall by winning the race by 27 seconds in 16:17. Andrews beat one of the best out west in Alex Dunne (Sr., San Clemente, CA), as Dunne finished second in 16:44. Christine Adams (Jr., Esperanza, CA) placed third in 17:01.
While Buchanan was the top boys team on the day with a close fought 117-121 victory over Vista Murrieta (CA), the top performance seen by many was that of Mac Fleet (Sr., University City, CA). Fleet outkicked in-state rival Zack Torres (Sr., Crescenta Valley, CA) in the closing phase of the race, winning with an overall time of 14:22 for the three mile course. Torres finished four seconds back in 14:26.
Meanwhile, Buchanan finished atop by running a 50 second spread from 1-5. The difference came up top against Vista Murrieta, with their top two runners finishing tenth and fifteenth respectively. Vista Murrieta's top runners finished a ways back, but their 1-5 split was a mere 29 seconds.
Mt. Carmel Invitational (CA)
With varsity line-ups being broken down into classes races (i.e. freshman race, sophomore race, etc.), some of the top pack teams had their top runners run on their own for the first time this season. This seemed to phase U.S. #2 Dana Hills (CA) Saturday, as they lost to Loyola (CA) 73-94 when all the finishing times were added and team scores figured.
Loyola (CA) ran exceptionally strong up top, placing three scorers in the top seven, with their fourth runner making the difference with a 17th place finish. The strength of Loyola seemed to surprise Dana Hills, who ran well, but simply couldn't match Loyola.
Sophomore Elias Geydon (Loyola, CA) led his squad in second with a 15:22 finish over the 5k course, while Tyler Valdes (Sr., Dana Hills, CA) finished third overall with a 15:31 finishing time. Joey Ruelas (Sr., Rancho Cucamaoga, CA) won the senior boys race in 15:14, stamping him as the top performer on the day.
On the girls side Torrey Pines (CA) beat a strong Rancho Bernardo (CA) team 115-141, following the lead of front runner Megan Morgan, who won the junior race with the second fastest time of the day in 15:26. Molly Grabill (Rancho Bernardo, CA) finished as the top individual of the day by winning the sophomore race in 15:00. Grabill's performance showed once again why she is considered one of the top runners in the state.
Amherst Invitational (MA)
Regionally ranked squads of Danbury (CT) and Newton South (MA) showed Saturday why they're two of the best in the region. Both squads, the Danbury boys and Newton South girls, won their respective varsity races by easily beating both fields by rather wide margins. Newton South beat Amherst Regional (MA) 24-116, while Danbury beat Newton South (MA) 47-97.
Newton South placed four in the top six, led by the 1-2 finish of Bridget Dahlberg and Madeline Reed, while throwing down a 54 second 1-5 split and a 18:37.2 5k average. Dahlberg finished first in 18:13, Reed finished second in 18:14, while Kelsey Karys finished fourth for Newton South in 18:33 and Kathy O'Keefe placed sixth for the squad in 18:59.
Danbury kept even a closer pack, earning a very low split of 37 seconds for their 1-5, while averaging 15:58 for 5k. Joey Bubniak and Tucker Schaefer placed fourth and fifth for the team with finishing times of 15:38 and 15:48.
Dave Wilson (Sr., Brookline, MA) build on the success of his squad last year at this meet, beating the rest of the boys varsity field by nine seconds in 15:23.
Roosevelt Heartland Classic (IA)
With Foot Locker all-American Katie Flood (Jr., Dowling Catholic, IA) sitting on the sidelines, U.S. #12 Dowling Catholic (IA) showed why they are a strong favorite to once again qualify for Nike Cross Nationals in 2008. The squad easily bested in-state rival Iowa City West (IA) 67-82, to take home the team title.
Junior Ashlie Decker led Dowling Catholic by taking home the individual title, beating runner-up Madie Hubbell (Des Moines Roosevelt, IA) by 16 seconds in 14:27. Decker set the pace up top, while the pack followed closely behind over the 4k course, which saw six DC athletes finish in the top 25. Nebraska state favorite Kelli Budd (Sr., Omaha Marian, NE) placed third in 14:52.
Wayzata (MN) traveled down to compete in the meet as well, showing why they are one of the favorites to capture a NXN bid come November. The team beat Edina (MN) 44-106 by using a strong 26 second spread and a 16:50 average (5k).
Individually, Jeremy Drenckhahn and Danny Ducharme led the way for Wayzata with fourth and fifth place finishes respectively. Omet Kak (Des Moines North, IA) won the boys varsity race in 16:08, while Besufeka Shannon-Tamrot (Hopkins, MN) finished second in 16:26.
Briarwood Invitational (PA)
Write-Up Courtesy of PennTrackXC.com
Neither a Pennsylvania school nor runner may have won this fall’s Briarwood Invitational at Belmont Plateau, but that didn’t keep North Penn from leaving its footsteps on the Philadelphia soil. Both the boys’ and girls’ squads finished second, with the boys’ team missing out by a mere point to West Windsor Plainsboro North of New Jersey (68-69). Juniors Brad Miles and Christy Cohick led the way, each placing 5th for the Knights and Maidens.
The girls finished with 89 points to Haddonfield’s (New Jersey) 62 points. Meghan Smith of Padua (Delaware) and West Windsor’s Joe Rosa were the champions, running 18:52.4 and 15:33.1, respectively
“I’m really proud,” Cohick said of North Penn’s day. “I really surprised myself.”
Cohick moved up from 7th on the 2007 squad to the No. 1 spot this year after taking up cross country as a sophomore. She credits her instant love of the sport and her summer mileage increase as reasons for her huge improvement.
Miles was not quite as chipper with his effort.
“I’m pleased, but I think we wanted to come out here and do a little better,” he said. “It’s a little upsetting because we don’t know that team, but we do know that they are better than us and that we need to beat them next time.”
What Miles and North Penn didn’t know at the time is that West Windsor is ranked 3rd in the Nike Team Nationals Northeast Poll. The squad may see West Windsor again later this season as the squad has plans to run in the Manhattan Invitational. Click Here for Full Article
The Week Ahead
Last weekend was the big-time start of the cross country season, seeing many big match-ups in states from the east coast to west coast, and everywhere in between. This weekend is much the same, with big-time invitationals taking place in nearly every state.
Some of the biggest take place out east, as the New Balance Ocean State Cross Country Invitational (RI) and McDonald's XC Festival (VA) dot the schedule. Many of the top teams in the Northeast take part in the Ocean State Invitational, while teams from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and others take part in the McDonald's XC Festival.
Moving westward, the Palatine Invitational (IL), Culver Invitational (IN), Midwest Meet of Champions (OH) and Roy Griak Invitational (MN) dominate the Midwest. Palatine will see York (IL) open up with their entire squad against some of the top squads in the state, while Culver sees a battle of U.S. #9 Carmel (IN) and U.S. #15 Neuqua Valley (IL) take place.
Meanwhile, the Roy Griak Invitational could feature a top-tier match up between two of the best girls in the country. Last fall Katie Flood (Jr., Dowling Catholic, IA) had her national-level breakout performance at the invitational, beating Foot Locker all-American Emily Sisson (Jr., Parkway Central, MO) in dominating fashion. In track Sisson seemed to close the gap, leading to what could be a great battle this fall if both athletes are entered in the field.
Out west the Nike Pre-National (OR) and Stanford Invitational (CA) take place. Many of the top squads in Oregon, Washington and Idaho travel to Portland to race at Nike Pre-Nationals, while the Stanford Invitational will assemble their amazing yearly collection of top California teams and individuals.
With so much talent racing on the horizon, this coming weekend looks to be the best one yet, and MileSplit will be there to bring you top coverage of it all in only a few short days.