Monday, May 14, 2012

Fast Times at Lathrop High

In spite of the short season, often lousy weather, and overblown officiousness at the local and state level--some just seem hell bent on running track and field right of the state--last weekend's action at the Mid-Region (officially Region 6) championships was again surprisingly good.

Our local paper does cover the events, but again the writers do not deal with nuance. So I'll take a stab at it, focusing on middle distance and distance events.

Assault charges should be filed against the Alaska weather. Although the temperature was comfortable in the mid-50s, the 3200 on Friday afternoon was held under battering 20-30 mile per hour winds.

State cross country champion Megan Edic won her first of four races with a 12:16, 34 seconds off her season's best. She was followed closely by teammate Brook Lizotte, who ran 12:19, 24 seconds slower than she did at the season opener in Anchorage, while West Valley's Dorothy O'Donnell was 3rd in 12:29, 20 seconds off her season's best.

Edic and Lizotte qualified for state, Edic earning an automatic bid with the win and Lizotte on time. At state watch for Sarah Freistone of Dimond who has run 11:16 to lead all runners. Watch for cross country strong women Jeanette Northey, Lydia Blanchette, and Edic could be in the hunt.

The boys race was also slowed by the wind. The trio of Kyle Hanson, Peter Noon, and 3A runner Andre Ionashku of Delta took off fast, in just over 70 seconds for the first lap before settling into 5:00/mile pace. Lathrop's Hanson (also winner of four events over the weekend), unleashed his lethal kick and won with a fast last lap to win in 10:00, followed by West Valley's Noon (10:05) and Ionashku (10:06). All three were 15 to 20 seconds slower than their season's best. The duo of Mikko Sayre (that's my boy!) and Erich Hoefler worked together ran 10:18 and 10:19 to take 3rd and 4th for 4A, and also qualified for state next week.

Next week's boys 4A 3200 should be very exciting with several talented and emerging stars. Kodiak's Levi Thomet, a freshman, ran 9:38.99 to edge teammate Cole Christianson by 0.01 at the regional meet in Palmer. Meanwhile, Service's Max Romey (runner up at state XC) ran a solo 9:46. So the the race will feature five athletes who have run 9:46 or faster this year and with better weather hopefully (it's usually quite nice at state), all or any of the five stand a decent chance of running 9:30 or faster. Hanson clearly has the best kick, but who can string it out and take that weapon away? In the 2nd pack there are several runners who should also break 10. Ten under 10? When was the last time that happened at the Alaska state meet?

Tomorrow, middle distances.


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