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Northwest Region
Regional Meet: November 15, 2008 at Boise ID

Oregon - Washington - Idaho - Montana - Alaska - Hawaii

Two teams and five individuals per gender will qualify for NXN national finals December 6, 2008 at Portland OR.
(links to details)

by Robert Rosenberg
Frosh-Soph Races
Open Races
Girls Championship
Boys Championship

Prior Years

meet's own web site

Fri. Ice Cream Social

N. Central boys, Crusader Harrier (Jesuit OR) girls
Crusader Harrier boys, Wolfpack XC (Eastlake WA) girls take 2nds

Jeff Howard wins at the right time - Boys Championship Story
Alyssa Andrews drops one for the ages - Girls Championship Story

Jeff Howard (above, left) led his North Central XC boys to the title with his narrow win over Barak Watson ID.  Alyssa Andrews WA dominated a strong girls field en route to a 17:58.6 course record.  - Photos by Robert Rosenberg

NXN Finals Qualifiers
 Boys Teams
1. North Central XC WA 42
2. Crusader Harriers (Jesuit OR) 116

3. Blue Train (Seattle Prep WA) 163
4. Mill Creek XC (Henry Jackson WA) 180
 Girls Teams
1. Crusader Harriers (Jesuit OR) 47
2. Wolfpack XC (Eastlake WA) 110
3. Gig XC (Gig Harbor WA) 128
4. Rose City XC (St. Mary's Academy OR)  145
Boys Individuals
(Jeff Howard WA 15:27.0)
1. Barak Watson ID 15:27.2
2. Kevin Rosaaen WA 15:31
(Andrew Kimpel WA 15:33)
3. Cody Helbling ID 15:34
4. Elliot Jantzer OR 15:39
5. Drew O'Donohue-McDonald WA 15:41
 Girls Individuals
1. Alyssa Andrews WA 17:58.6 CR
(Annamarie Maag OR 18:14)
2. Nicole Nielsen ID 18:17
3. Sandra Martinez WA 18:17
4. Leah Francis AK 18:17
(Payton Schutte OR 18:20)
5. Carey Parker WA 18:24

Howard 'does his job,' Andrews overcomes nerves, top teams advance

Lead story
by Dave Devine

On a pristine day that seemed custom made for cross country racing, four teams and ten individuals showed they were made of the right material to qualify for the 2008 Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.  The US#1 North Central XC boys from Washington and Oregon’s US#8 Crusader Harrier girls (Jesuit OR ) met season-long expectations head on with overpowering performances in the championship races.  

North Central XC was led by Jeff Howard’s 15:27 victory in a tight stretch battle over Idaho’s Barak Watson (15:27.2).  It was the first cross country win of Howard’s career—in any race—and it came at exactly right time.  Teammate, and usual #1 man Andrew Kimpel, was still shaking off the effects of a lingering illness that had hampered him a week earlier at the Washington 4A state meet, but managed to come home fourth to give NC two in the top five and set them well on the way to their 42-point total. 

“It's my job, every race,” Howard said, “to cover for Andy if he’s not feeling it.  All year I’ve been trying to close the gap between us, and I think today he just wasn’t fully recovered from that flu.  I just did my job.”

The US#6 Crusader Harrier boys made it a daily double for the deep Oregon school, finishing runner-up to North Central XC with 116 points and ensuring they’ll toe the line in Portland to protect the home turf.  The Crusader’s 24-second split left the Oregon 6A champs well up on the 163 points scored by third place team, and Washington 3A runners-up, Blue Train (Seattle Prep WA).

The Crusader girls, meanwhile, showed the front end strength they’ve displayed all season, with Payton Schutte (6th, 18:20) and Noelle VanRysselberghe (11th, 18:34) following individual runner-up Annamarie Maag (18:14) across the line to give the Oregon squad three scorers before most teams had one.  Alyssa Andrews, star of last weekend’s Washington 4A state meet, made it back-to-back big races by unfurling a 17:58.6 course record which slashed 10 seconds from Liz Brandon’s two week-old mark, and dropped a loaded girls’ field which included champions from 5 different states.

“I was so nervous,” she said afterwards, “because I had no idea who was here.  At the state meet you know who you’re racing, but I didn’t really know these girls.  I just tried to get a gap at a mile-and-a-half, and then I started going.”

Andrews was hoping to lead her Gig XC Club teammates on a redemption run of sorts, after they suffered a 1-point defeat to Eastlake WA in the WA 4A meet.  NW#2 Eastlake, however—running as Wolfpack XC in the post-season—had plans of their own.  Using the same tight pack tactics which delivered that state title a week ago, they snagged the second girls ticket to Portland without any runners in the top 25.  Megan Batty (28th, 19:17) led off the Wolfpack tally as the 14th scorer after unattached individuals were removed, fronting a 110-point effort that relegated Gig XC to third with 128.

Winners Table - click on event name to see detailed results, pix and stories.
 Boys Championship
 North Central XC WA 42 (Crusader Harriers OR 116); Jeff Howard WA 15:27 (Barak Watson ID 15:27.2) - PHOTOS
 Girls Championship
Crusader Harriers OR 47 (Wolfpack XC WA 110); Alyssa Andrews WA 17:58.6 CR (Annamarie Maag OR 18:14) - PHOTOS
 Boys Open
Crusader Harriers OR 104 (Lakeside Road Runners 108); Cesar James-Perez OR 16:28 - PHOTOS
 Girls Open
Kuna ID 48 (Crusader Harriers OR 79); Jessica Leonhardt ID 19:15 - PHOTOS
 Boys Frosh-Soph
Sentinel XC Club 59 (Teton XC 82); Mike McHan (Gooding RC) 16:49 - PHOTOS
 Girls Frosh-Soph
Axemen RC 15 pts (no other full teams); Paige Kouba OR 20:02 - PHOTOS

  • Friday Ice Cream Social - Pre-race fun and t-shirt swapping at the Boise State University stadium sky box, overlooking the famous blue "Smurf Turf" football field - Robert Roseberg photo gallery
  • Preview - US#1 North Central XC WA boys, US#8 Crusader Harrier OR girls look strongest - Preview by Dave Devine
  • Box Assignments - posted November 13th
  • Entries - Final as of Nov. 12. 
  • Team Rankings - Final lists: North Central WA boys, Jesuit OR girls confirm #1 ranking with big wins at NW regional
  • Individuals to Watch - by NSSF correspondents

Tim Severa - [email protected]
Ryan Canning - [email protected]

Last Year
Andrew Kimpel (L) was 2nd (Trevor Dunbar AK 3rd) but led North Central WA to the team title.  North Central returns this year as the overwhelming favorite as the US#1 ranked team.
 Noelle VanRysselberghe finished 6th for Crusader Harriers (Portland OR Jesuit), who were 2nd last year but favored to win this year.
 Alyssa Andrews, Gig Harbor WA, was 5th last year and is one of the leading girls this year.
photos by John Dye


10:15 a.m. Grade School & Middle School boys & girls 3K
10:45 a.m. Open & Citizen men & women 5K
12:00 p.m. Freshman-Sophomore Girls 5K
12:35 p.m. Freshman-Sophomore Boys 5K
1:05 p.m. Girls Open 5K
1:35 p.m. Boys Open 5K
2:00 p.m. Team Introductions and National Anthem
2:15 p.m. Girls Championship Race 5K
2:45 p.m. Team Introductions
2:50 p.m. Boys Championship Race 5K

Friday, November 14, 2008 7:00pm at the Ice Cream Social/Coaches Meeting

NXN index page