Sep 152011

Kamiakin Boys Cross Country Some of the best teams in the Northwest competed against each other this weekend at the 6th Annual Tracy Walters Invitational hosted by North Central High School at Audubon Park in Spokane. Six of the eight boys teams scheduled to compete are ranked in the top 10 in the Northwest. I don’t quite understand the polling since the WA 3A polls rank North Central as #1, Bellevue as #2 and Kamiakin as #3 yet the national poll has Kamiakin ahead of both Bellevue and North Central. I am hoping the national polls are correct.

The eight boys’ teams represented were: Coeur D’Alene, Bozeman, Jesuit, Bellevue, Glacier Peak, Kamiakin, North Central, and Joel Ferris. North Central, once again, won the boys’ varsity race but Kamiakin came in second. For the first time in the 6 year history of the meet, North Central did not win the JV race, but instead Kamiakin’s depth showed that it will be a force to contend with for years, 9 of the top 15 were from Kamiakin, 4 from North Central, and 2 from Bozeman and amazingly the top 25 JV runners are all underclassmen.

Anthony Armstrong surprised no one by beating the meet record he had set last year, running the 3 mile course at an incredible 15:07, just 6 seconds off the course record set 18 years ago. It would be interesting to be able to come back and see him run this course at the end of the season instead of as the first real meet of the season.

The girls’ teams were from Coeur D’Alene, Bozeman, Jesuit, Glacier Peak, Kamiakin, North Central, Shadle Park, Central Valley, Eastlake, and Lewis and Clark. Kamiakin’s girls came in third, behind Jesuit and the winner, Bozeman. Kudos to both teams for the long drives and still placing at the top.

Besides scoring the top runners, North Central also gives a team award based on the combined total points of each team member. The Lewis & Clark girls steam rolled into first place with 33 runners and 2165 points. The strength of Bozeman’s girls is evident in that they were only 133 points behind with less than half the number of runners. If they had only 1 more runner who had placed in the top 70 they would have beat out Lewis & Clark.

North Central won the Boys’ team award with 30 runners scoring 2436 points. Amazingly, Kamiakin was only 15 points behind North Central. One of Kamiakin’s top JV runners had to miss the race to take the SATs. He easily would have got those 15 points and more likely would have more than 100 points. Oh well, if wishes were fishes….

The course loops around the beautifully wooded 26 acre Audubon Park three times, each time going up and down a deceptively arduous incline twice. Once the gun goes off, most spectators head to the middle of the course where the runners must pass four times to make both passes of the hill. For photographs I set up at the starting line, head over to the base of the hill to catch the runners coming down the first time, head over to the west side of the park to catch the runners after they come down the hill the second time. I then head back to the middle of the course to catch the runners as they hit the hill for the second lap. At this point the runners have begun to string out and so after most of the runners have gone by me I begin to make my way down the east side of the course towards the finish to catch straglers and then the runners as they work on their final lap. If I have worked it out right, and not dawdled too much, I will be at the finish line when the first runner crosses. This gave me photos at the start, finish and 4 other positions along the course.

I ended up with about 300 photos of each of the four races which I was able to whittle down to 200 by deleting blurry shots and duplicates. I actually wish I had taken more because a few of the shots I kept were not as sharply focused as I wish but decided to keep the photo rather than not have a picture of that athlete on the finish line, etc.


  One Response to “Kamiakin HS @ 6th Annual Tracy Walters Invite”

  1. Great writeup! As a new guy, first XC meet i have ever attended, your analysis of the parents running just to watch is under rated. I felt most if not all spectators were getting a workout as well as the athletes! Lol. We had a blast!! Thanks

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