LC girls bring team title back to Washington with win over Post Falls
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.
It was another closely contested race with Hartley, Gardner, and Gonzaga Prep's Caleb Richardson bunched up from the start. While Gardner and Richardson would trade-off leader positions for the first half, Hartley trailed behind.
Hartley eventually made his way up into first with just a little under a mile to go to put himself in complete control till the end to take an eight-second victory.
“The goal was just to stick with them and pace it good,” said Hartley. “From there, I just sat on them through the second mile and made my move on the third. It worked pretty well, and I was happy with the way I raced it.”
Hartley picks up his second invite win of the season -- his first being at Wenatchee a couple of weeks ago -- and moves forward with Mid-Columbia Conference racing coming up. Then in late October, he will get another chance at racing Mead's Gardner at the regional meet.
“This is a huge confidence boost,” said Hartley. “In two weeks, I’ll have the Kamiakin guys to run against and then heading into regionals a couple of weeks from now against Brycen again. It will be another fun couple of races.”
Gardner's second-place run was in a personal best 15:43.88, and Richardson was fourth running 16:02.69. Central Valley's Ethan Sheneman was sixth running a personal best 16:09.88.
The Mead boys bounced back in the win column against LC after taking a week off from racing, defeating the Tigers 74-120 to claim the boy's team title.
“We wanted to compete, and we knew we could,” said Gardner. “We knew LC had a strong three-pack, and we wanted to break them up. I didn’t want them to beat me, and our other guys knew what their part was. We just wanted to execute our plan, and that’s what we did.”
Evan Bruce was first for LC, finishing in third running a personal best time of 15:43.88. Brian Bowers (5th, 16:08.32) and Charles Ledwith (9th, 16:12.49) also ran personal best times to round out LC’s top 10 finishers.
Other top Washington's teams were host Cheney (4th, 187 points), Gonzaga Prep (6th. 224), and Central Valley (8th, 269).