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Wilsonville Invitational

NW#3 Central Catholic Opens with a Controlled Win

9/9/06 Wilsonville, OR

by Dave Devine, NTN Northwest regional editor

Full results are available at www.oregonxc.com


Central Catholic coach Dave Frank gave his team a clear race plan for the Wilsonville Invitational this past Saturday.

“They were not supposed to be in the top ten until after they got out of the woods,” he said, underscoring his intention that this meet be a low-key opening to the season, minus the sort of pressure that last year’s foray to California’s Woodbridge Invitational brought with it. There, the Rams ran into a buzzsaw and found themselves 8th in a stacked field of California teams. This was meant to be a different start to an equally promising season.

“The woods” at Wilsonville Memorial Park consist of a narrow, twisting trail through undulating forested terrain at the edge of the athletic fields. The race makes two passes through this section, and Frank’s charges were following the plan perfectly on the first time through. Just past a mile and a half, a loose pack of Rams sat behind several strong individuals and rival Lincoln’s top three.

“The first mile, mile and a half, we were just running as a team,” race winner Taylor Morgan said afterwards, “I don’t think anyone even broke into the top seven.” A half mile later, however, the Central pack was the top seven, or at least six of the top seven. Surging just before the trail spilled out to the athletic fields, the Rams emerged from the woods five across, a wall of black singlets leading the race. This sent a murmur through the crowd lining the course, and left even their coach taken aback.

“When they came out and they were one through five, I was pretty surprised,” Frank said, acknowledging the toll that the first week of school always takes. “I didn’t know how we’d run. I thought we might come out and run sluggish.”

Central’s runners looked anything but sluggish over the last mile, although the pack splintered during the second trip through the woods as Morgan asserted himself and Lincoln’s front two of Matt Parker and Joseph Carpenter, along with Dave Marks from Lakeridge, began to infiltrate Central’s group. Morgan cruised home for the win in 16:47, followed by Ram super soph Samot Turina (16:58). Lincoln, running without top runner Aaron Anderson, made a strong push at the end, but succumbed to Central Catholic’s depth, 21-54.

The compression for Central’s top six was a mere 37 seconds, a split that does not include Luke Wiltshire, Sam Wotipka or emerging freshmen talent Musa Ahmed (all three resting minor illnesses or nagging injuries). With last year’s trip to Nike Team Nationals against the country’s best still fresh in their minds, the Central Catholic harriers know the importance of establishing pack cohesiveness early in the season.

“We were yelling at each other whole race,” Taylor Morgan said, “Going ‘Get up here! Get up here!’ If anyone started falling back we’d bring them back up.”

It’s a long season, but if the Rams take care of business and run well at State, they know a second trip to Nike Team Nationals is a possibility. And if they return, Samot Turina said,

“we won’t be as in awe of everything as we were last year.”

Other Race Notes:

Marist High School, led by Meghan Whalen in 4th and Kate Zochowski in 5th, won the Large School Girls race with 48 points over host Wilsonville (113). The individual winner was Newberg’s Sarah Boyd (20:35.8)

LaSalle High School of Milwaukie, OR won both the boys and the girls Small School races with strong packs, defeating Kennewick 46-78 in the boys race and Elmira 36-79 in the girls race. Elmira’s Nelson Zaludek surged away for the 17:43.6 win on the boys side, and Paige Landsem of Westside Christian ran alone for an easy win on the girl’s side in 22:18.6.

Girls - Boys

Girls Large School
1 Boyd, Sarah Newberg 20:35.8
2 Parr, Sami Putnam 21:05.2
3 Everetts, Janelle McKay 21:11.3
4 Whalen, Meghan Marist 21:21.6
5 Zochowski, Kate Marist 21:25.9
6 Ranno, Marissa Sherwood 21:36.3
7 Scott, Tessa Wilsonville 21:37.1
8 Everetts, Megan McKay 21:37.6
9 Maddox, Natasha Wilsonville 21:53.2
10 Hawblitzel, Dani Newberg 21:55.4
11 Donnelly, Brenn Marist 22:01.9
12 Collins, Hilary Wilsonville 22:23.9
13 Hilles, Emery Marist 22:32.9
14 Nyquist, Karina McMinnville 22:33.8
15 Gorman, Kelly Marist 22:39.5
16 Collins, Elena Marist 22:41.2
17 Stutzman,Mary Mewberg 23:06.1
18 Hacmac, Taylor Putnam 23:21.5
19 Hansen, Taylor Wilsonville 23:31.4
20 Powers, Katie Sherwood 23:36.1

Girls Team - Large School
Marist 1 48
Wilsonville 2 113
Newberg 3 122
Rex Putnam 4 122
Lakeridge 5 140
Sherwood 6 149
McMinnville 7 178
Central Catholic 8 224

Boys Large School
1 Morgaon, Taylor Central Catholic 16:47.3
2 Turina, Samot Central Catholic 16:58.6
3 Parker, Matt Lincoln 17:02.2
4 O'Malley, Kevin Central Catholic 17:08.8
5 Carpenter, Joseph Lincoln 17:12.2
6 Turkheimer, Joel Central Catholic 17:14.1
7 Marks, Dave Lakeridge 17:21.5
8 Turner, Nick Central Catholic 17:22.1
9 Marx, Zach Central Catholic 17:24.8
10 Hollander, Matt Marist 17:41.2
11 Mathabane, Nathan Lincoln 17:45.7
12 Bauer, Nathan Newburg 17:46.0
13 Bergmann, Taylor Central Catholic 17:46.2
14 Garcia, Ricky Putnam 17:46.6
15 Unkeles, Adrian Lincoln 17:52.0
16 Mendez, Emilio Wilsonville 17:58.6
17 Willmert, Dean Wilsonville 18:08.2
18 Heymann, Ray Marist 18:11.2
19 Regan, Matt Putnam 18:12.4
20 Hall, Mark Lincoln 18:14.7

Boys Team - Large School
Central Catholic 1 21
Lincoln 2 54
Marist 3 117
Newburg 4 121
Wilsonville 5 179
Rex Putnam 6 190
Lakeridge 7 221
Sherwood 8 225
McKay 9 251
McMinnville 10 348