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2007 Bob Firman Invitational

Saturday September 22, 2007
Eagle Island State Park, Boise ID
DyeStat on-site coverage with John & Donna Dye, Dave Devine and Rob Monroe
See WINNER TABLE for links to results, stories and pix

Elite winners: Mountain Brook AL girls, Nicole Nielsen ID, Crater OR boys, Luke Puskedra UT
Photo albums: top 25 BOYS - GIRLS
200 sideline scenes

Preview - Schedule

Meet Information
Meet's own site

DyeStat Previous Years
2006 - 2005
Boys Elite - a tale of two races: Luke Puskedra's solo tour de force and a battle of nationally ranked teams.
Girls Elite - Mountain Brook girls trusted themselves and had fun, with whitewater rafting a side benefit of their long trip from Alabama.

Cool Hand Luke steals the show
Plus: Nielsen's Near-CR, a crush of Comets and the Alabama Slammers

by Dave Devine

At the 2006 Bob Firman Invitational, then-junior Luke Puskedra of Judge Memorial UT was leading the boys’ elite race after two miles, but found himself helpless against a surging Taylor Farnsworth of Highland ID, and ended up a well-beaten second to Farnsworth’s impressive 15:16.65 course record. “I just couldn’t go with him,” he lamented at the time. “I tried to make a move at the two mile mark and paid for it on the third mile.”

What a difference a year makes. Read More

jr Madeline Morgan leads Mountain Brook with 3rd place finishNicole Nielsen was a popular winner for the Idaho crowd Luke Puskedra had
it all his own way
Ryan Santana in 9th place led Crater's big win over North Central


photos by John Dye

Under swirling skies threatening rain all day, Puskedra attacked this year’s race like a man possessed, making the entire field pay as he clocked 4:36 through the opening mile en route to a jaw-dropping tour that left veteran coaches in awe and laid waste to Farnsworth’s record. Puskedra’s composed, untouched effort—14:49.16 on a rolling course with significant hills and shifting terrain—was clearly the race of the day at the 2007 Bob Firman Invitational, but there were other compelling storylines.

The girls’ elite race featured Nicole Nielsen of Borah ID, a bubbly hometown hero who narrowly missed a course record of her own with her 18:18.40 defeat of Judge Memorial’s Hailey Knettles—a repeat runner-up at 18:24.06. In the much-anticipated team competitions, a collision of ranked teams from multiple regions produced a series of surprises, let downs, upsets and disappointments. The Mountain Brook AL girls, ranked 4th in the Southeast entering the race, shook off any lingering jetlag from the long trip north and sped to an impressive 64-80 win over SW#3 Davis UT, leaving two of the top-ranked teams in the Northwest—NW#3 Boise ID (9th) and NW#2 Gig Harbor WA (10th)—well in their wake.

Meanwhile, Crater Oregon’s boys—initially declared the winner of the boys' elite race over US#3 North Central WA, among others—had to wait through two recounts of the scoring after a discrepancy in the finish line chute left the results in question for over an hour. Once the timing chip data had been thoroughly reviewed, Crater’s win held up, although by a far narrower margin than originally thought. Behind the top-ten finish of senior Ryan Santana, the soaring Comets upended North Central’s vaunted squad by 3 points, 121 to 124, simultaneously knocking off four other regionally ranked teams and US#17 Trabuco Hills CA.

In the past few years the Bob Firman Invitational has offered a chance for ranked teams to ratchet up their status or improve their standing in a season-long quest for NTN berths based on year-end rankings. A hiccup at Firman, as some teams learned the hard way, could spell the end of national aspirations, as departures from the top-5 were rarely reversible. Now, with selection to Nike Team Nationals based on head-to-head racing at regional meets, an early season slip-up by a highly regarded team is a far less punishing setback—a fact several coaches emphasized as they tried to put a positive spin on their disappointing outcome. Many suggested there was plenty of time to regroup, and the mere fact of having seen the course and measured the competition was enough. With the Northwest regional meet scheduled for the same Eagle Island State Park course on November 10th, it’s almost a guarantee that several anticipated rematches will be contested over the same trampled ground.

Winners Table - click on event for results, pix and story
Elite Girls
Mountain Brook AL 64 (Davis UT 80) - Nicole Nielson, Borah ID jr 18:19
Elite Boys
Crater OR 121 - Luke Puskedra UT 14:49 MR CR
D1 Girls
Trabuco Hills CA 62 - Amanda Ward, Twin Falls ID 19:01
D1 Boys
Twin Falls ID 80 (West Valley WA 85) - Richard Keroack, West Valley 16:43
D2 Girls
Soda Springs 57 - Ashley Baldovino, Lakeview OR 19:28
D2 Boys
Ryan Golding 17:02 and Bear Lake 58
College Men 8k
Chico State 30 - Patrick Boivin, Chico TC 25:18
College Women
Boise State 50 - Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific 18:01
JV Boys
Div 1 - North Central WA 38 - Mead sr Thomas Wolfe 17:16
Div 2 - Central Valley 21 - CV soph Luke Stintzi 19:11
JV Girls
Davis UT 24 - Davis fr Meghan Hedquist 20:19
9th Grade Boys
Mountain View ID 46 - Eagle fr Connor Reibe18:02
9th Grade Girls
Mountain View ID 32 - Emmett fr Megan Wilson 21:25
Middle School Boys 3k
Eagle 41 - Erik Harris 8th grade unattached 10:13
Middle School Girls 3k
Sojourners RC 54 - Marquita Palmer, Weiser 8 11:28

Dave Devine's Preview - For the last few years, the Bob Firman Invitational at Eagle Island State Park near Boise, Idaho, has been growing in size and stature, but with the announcement this past summer that the venue would be the site of the nascent Nike Team Nationals Northwest Regional, the event took on even greater import. Top teams from around the region looking to preview the terrain they’ll encounter in November—as well as those from outside the Northwest hoping to test their mettle—are journeying to Boise this weekend for the 2007 version of the venerable Bob Firman. READ MORE

  The course at picturesque Eagle Island State Park features a rugged start on a wide, freshly mown hayfield.
Meet Information


Eagle Island State Park is a championship tested cross country course that challenges competitors by requiring constant adjustments to a variety of surfaces including grass, sand, packed dirt, open field, and asphalt (but only 9 meters of the black stuff). The course also requires competitors to constantly adjust pace as they negotiate a number of turns and two trips up and down Spectator Hill with its 50 meter climb and fast 90 meter descent. Course elevation 2,724 feet

This park has been actively used for cross country meets since 1989. It has been the site of the Bob Firman Invitational, numerous district meets, four state championship meets, the WAC championships, and will be the site for the 2007 NCAA DII West Regionals. It was also selected as one of eight courses nationwide as a meet site under Nike's original NTN regional qualifying format.


Tentative Time Schedule
Collegiate Men
Collegiate Women
DII Varsity Boys
DI Varsity Boys
Elite Varsity Girls
Elite Varsity Boys
DII Varsity Girls
DI Varsity Girls
JV Boys
JV Girls
9th Grade Boys
9th Grade Girls
Middle School Boys
Middle School Girls
Times subject to change

3K for 6th-8th grade
8K collegiate men
5K for all other races


Top 20 Finishers in all six High School Varsity Races:

Custom Medal
Race logo Nike sackpack Certificate of Recognition

Top 3 Varsity Teams:

Custom Medals for 7 team members

Meet Registration

2007 Entry Fees by September 1st:

High School
$80 per school or
$12/runner for incomplete teams

Middle School
$40 per school or
$5/runner for incomplete

Checks payable to
Bob Firman XC Invitational
c/o Dave Mills
923 E. Bannock St.
Boise, Idaho 83712

Northwest Regional Index