The 45th annual Richland Invite runs today at Carmichael Middle School. And while the boys race will match up a couple of national caliber teams and individuals, the girls race figures to be a battle of locals.
The Richland girls will contend for the team title against the likes of Central Valley and Eisenhower. And Bombers junior Lindsey Bradley is the odds-on favorite for the individual crown after finishing fourth and third the last two years.
Noticeably absent from the race will be full squads from Kamiakin. Most of the Braves varsity boys and half the girls varsity are taking the weekend off after four big invites in five weeks. But even without the second-ranked boys and girls teams in the Class 3A, it will be a talented field.
On the girls side, Bradleys closest challenges could come from Betsy Arlt of Eastmont, Cyra Carlson of Gonzaga Prep, Elise Tello of Eisenhower. Walla Wallas Courtney Cox and Kamiakins Kaylee Sanchez also could make a run at a top finish.
Additionally, keep an eye on Oroville senior Sierra Speiker, a two-time Class B state champion who has won 20 races in her career and is 5-for-5 this season, including the Erik Anderson Runners Soul in Spokane on Sept. 21 in a field that included Central Valley and Idaho power Coeur dAlene. She finished eighth at Richland last year.
Without Camas in the field, there will be a different girls team champion for the fourth straight year, dating back to Richlands back-to-back wins in 2008-09.
On the boys side, however, it is likely to be more of the same with six-time defending invite champion North Central back in the field and its defending individual titlist, Kai Wilmot.
Still, the boys field is stacked, with NC, Eisenhower, Central Valley, Jackson, Nathan Hale and Mt. Spokane all ranked in the top five in the state in Class 3A or 4A.
Individually, Wilmot and Seattle Preps Joe Hardy have staged some amazing races over the years. Hardy has won 13 of 15 races the last two discounting a 17th-place finish in a league meet in which he ran more than 2 minutes off his standard pace. Those two non-wins: second place at Stanford this year and second to Wilmot in this race last season.
If anyone can challenge these two, it likely would be NCs Tanner Anderson, Mt. Spokanes John Dressel and Eisenhowers Drew Schreiber coming off his Sunfair win last weekend.
On the local side, with Kamiakins varsity sitting out, Hermiston is the easy favorite, and senior Alejandro Cisneros likely the top finisher who should challenge top five. Teammate Jose Macias and Richlands Michael Williams also should finish well.
45th annual Richland Invite
Carmichael Middle School, today
Boys varsity I: 1:55 p.m.
2012 champs: North Central team; Kai Wilmot, jr., North Central (14:44.73, course and meet record)
Top teams: North Central, Nathan Hale, Eisenhower, Central Valley, Jackson, Mt. Spokane, Seattle Prep, Hermiston.
Top individuals: Joe Hardy, sr., Seattle Prep; Kai Wilmot, sr., North Central; John Dressel, jr., Mt. Spokane; Tanner Anderson, jr., North Central; Andrew Foerder, sr., Nathan Hale; Aaron Roe, jr., Jackson; Charlie Barringer, jr., Bothell; Drew Schreiber, sr., Eisenhower; Alejandro Cisneros, sr., Hermiston; Max Leach, sr., Nathan Hale.
Local talent: Cisneros; Jose Macias, sr., Hermiston; Michael Williams, sr., Richland; Chandler Teigen, jr., Asotin.
All-time top 10: 14:44.73 Kai Wilmot, North Central, 2012; 14:47.61 Joe Hardy, Seattle Prep, 2012; 14:52.03 Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin, 2011; 14:53 Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin, 2010; 14:54 Santos Vargas, Eisenhower, 2011; 14:55 Allan Schroeder, Mt. Spokane, 2009; 14:57 Andrew Gonzales, Southridge, 2008; 14:57 Andrew Kimpel, North Central, 2008; 14:57 Vince Hamilton, North Central, 2010; 14:58 Ben Johnston, North Central, 2009
Girls varsity I: 2:20 p.m.
2012 champs: Camas team; Katie Knight, sr., North Central (17:16.53, course and meet record)
Top teams: Central Valley, Eisenhower, Mt. Spokane, Jackson, Gonzaga Prep, Richland, North Central, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls)
Top individuals: Lindsey Bradley, jr., Richland; Sierra Speiker, sr., Oroville; Betsy Arlt, jr., Eastmont; Cyra Carlson, jr., Gonzaga Prep; McCall Skay, jr., West Valley-Spokane; Elise Tello, sr., Eisenhower; Brooke Kingma, jr., Jackson; Stephanie Spencer, sr., Bothell; Anisa Allaet, jr., Ferris; Lindy Jacobson, jr., Lakeside; Courtney Cox, jr., Walla Walla; Kaylee Sanchez, so., Kamiakin
Local talent: Bradley; Beauchene; Cox; Sanchez; Emily Kump, jr., Southridge; Amy Pfaff, sr., Hanford; Sydney Bullock, jr., Richland. All-time top 10: 17:16.53 Katie Knight, North Central, 2012; 17:22.87 Alexa Efraimson, Camas, 2012; 17:35 Katie Knight, North Central, 2010; 17:35.86 Jordan McPhee, Mt. Rainier 2011; 17:37 Andrea Nelson, Shadle Park, 2007; 17:41 Sandra Martinez, Davis, 2008; 17:45 Baylee Mires, Mead, 2008; 17:55 Erin Hegarty, Hanford, 2010; 17:56 Katie Knight, North Central, 2009; 18:00 Erin Hegarty, Hanford, 2009
Last 20 team champions
2012: North Central boys, Camas girls; 2011: North Central, Jackson; 2010: North Central, Kamiakin; 2009: North Central, Richland; 2008: North Central, Richland; 2007: North Central, Lake Stevens; 2006: Mead, West Valley-Yakima; 2005: Mead, Hermiston; 2004: Mead, Mead; 2003: Kamiakin, Kamiakin. 2002: Edmonds-Woodway, Kamiakin; 2001: Mead, Mead; 2000: Mead, Eisenhower; 1999: Mead, Mead; 1998: Kamiak, Marysville-Pilchuck; 1997: Gig Harbor, East Valley-Spokane; 1996: Mead, Ferris; 1995: Gig Harbor, Mead; 1994: Mead, Mead; 1993: Mead, Mead.
Last 10 individual champions
2012: Kai Wilmot, North Central; Katie Knight, North Central; 2011: Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin; Jordan McPhee, Mt. Rainier; 2010: Anthony Armstrong, Kamiakin; Katie Knight, North Central; 2009: Allan Schroder, Mt. Spokane; Katie Knight, North Central; 2008: Andrew Kimpel, North Central; Shawna Schooley, Davis; 2007: Joey Bywater, Lake Stevens; Andrea Nelson, Shadle Park; 2006: Joey Bywater, Lake Stevens; Andrea Nelson, Shadle Park; 2005: Nick Atwood, East Valley-Spokane; Jennifer Macias, Hermiston; 2004: Laef Barnes, Mead; Kristen Ballinger, Wenatchee; 2003: Chris Rodriguez, Kelso; Selene Isaacson, Lake Washington.