Was more than a little wowed by the Kamiakin cross country performances the last two Saturdays — which I had the rare pleasure of having off to soak in an abundance of college foos-ball.
On Sept. 10, the Kamiakin boys finished second to five-time defending 3A state champion and national powerhouse North Central of Spokane at the Tracy Walters Invite at Spokane Audubon Park, while the girls were third in another stacked field.
Last Saturday, the boys demolished the field at the New Balance Festival of Champions in Oregon City, scoring just 19 points as they won the first (Christian Rodriguez), third (Garrett Kraal), fourth (Austin Richards) and fifth flights (Anthony Armstrong). Moreover, all 12 of their competitors scored in the top 10 of their flights, and Armstrong’s time of 15:00.4 on the 5-kilometer course was his fourth course or meet record in as many races this season.
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The girls finished fourth with five top-10 showings in their flights, including Stephanie Rexus finishing second in the elite flight.
Comparing times in cross country is a tricky business, as not all 3-mile and 5K courses are built the same. However, it’s interesting to note that according to Athletic.net, Armstrong has run the fastest 3-mile (14:57) and 5K (15:00.4) in the state this season. On the girls side, Rexus has the 10th-fastest 3-mile time (18:23) and sixth 5K (18:23.9). Teammate Michelle Fletcher also has a pair of top-20 times: 18th in 3 mile (18:55) and 20th in 5K (19:04.2).
No other area runners rank in the top 20 at either distance. Waitsburg-Prescott’s Seth Deal is 22nd at 3 miles (15:43).