509 Recap: Kennewick's Marquardt Holds off Post Falls' Dynamic Duo

LC girls bring team title back to Washington with win over Post Falls

Kennewick's Macy Marquardt won the girl's varsity race at the Battle for the 509 Invite on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Fairways Golf Course in Cheney. (Keenan Gray/The Runner WA)

CHENEY - It has been a season unlike any other for Kennewick's Macy Marquardt. The multiple PR's and big invite wins have indeed shown she has become one of the best runners in Washington over the last eight months.

Other than racing some quality opponents outside of the Mid-Columbia Conference, the only thing missing from Marquardt's racing resume was going up against other elite runners from around the Inland Northwest. She got her chance for the first time in Cheney on Saturday.

The Post Falls dynamic duo of Samantha Wood and Annastasia Peters matched up with Marquardt at the Battle for the 509 Invite in the girl's varsity race for what would be the race of the day at the Fairways Golf Course with the Kennewick star taking the win in a personal best 5k time of 17:06.9.

“It was more pressure than usual,” said Marquardt. “I just had to run my own race, though. If they were able to get ahead of me, I would try to catch them and make sure to stay out front.”

Both Wood and Peters came into the meet with plenty of momentum after finishing first and second at the Bellevue Invite on September 25 and ran personal best 5k times of 17:12.1 and 17:38 -- times that are ranked first and fourth in the state of Idaho.

Peters and Wood trailed Marquardt during the first quick mile by a few feet, and then on the second mile, Peters would fall back into third by a couple of meters while Wood remained in second by just a few feet. Marquardt never once lost control of first place.

“I just paid attention to where the fast and slow parts of the course are,” said Marquardt. “The first mile was kind of a trick because it was fast, and then the second mile was hard. Then there was a spot where you to have pick it up at the end, and then I just went for it.”

Marquardt's 5k time now ranks second in Washington this season, only behind Bellarmine's Ella Borsheim's personal best mark of 16:44.6.

Wood and Peters eventually finished second and third running 17:32.97 and 17:41.29. Asotin's Chloe Overberg was fourth running 18:07.79, and East Valley's Logan Hofstee rounded out the top five running 18:08.77.

The Lewis and Clark girls scored 57 points to defeat Post Falls score of 99, bringing back the Battle for the 509 title to Washington for the first time since Gonzaga Prep won the inaugural race in 2017. Three Tigers finished in the top 10, led by Audrey Thronson’s sixth-place run of 18:18.67, followed by Alice Groza (7th, 18:36.79) and Bridget Burns (10th, 19:11.53).

“They are very reliable and did what we expected,” said LC head girl’s coach Kevin Swain. “You usually know you are going to get hard work from those three each day and today was that day.”

Six of the Tigers' racers came away with new personal best marks, including their top runner Thronson who ran 32 seconds faster from her previous best last spring.

“We did know there were going to be a lot of fast schools here,” said Thronson. “Our coach told us to stick with each other and find the Post Falls girls to hang on to. I think moving forward, we have built more confidence."

Other top teams from Washington included Kennewick (4th, 154 points), Central Valley (5th, 166), and Walla Walla (7th, 220).

On the boy's side, Walla Walla's Brody Hartley pulled away from Mead's Brycen Gardner to win the individual crown, running a time of 15:35.42.