Birger Solberg Recap: Shorecrest's Luu, Thurman Win 1,600 & 3,200

Bellingham, WA - Shorecrest's senior duo Erik Luu won the 1,600 meter and Spencer Thurman won the 3,200 meter races at the 2019 Birger Solberg Invite on Saturday, April 6, at Civic Stadium.

Luu out kicked Bothell's Amrit Banga on the last 100 meters to complete the victory while running a season best time of 4:26.7 to help the Scotties secure their first win of the day.


Considering the windy conditions, Luu said, "the race was good" and he matched his time from two weeks ago.


"I felt pretty good in the beginning. I didn't realize how bad the wind was until I was 300 meters into the race, but overall it was a good race considering the wind."


A tight race from the start as no one wanted to lead until about the third lap where Luu and Banga began to break away and make it a two man race.


With 100 meters to go, Luu had the upperhand taking the win on a final sprint.


"The last 100 meters you have to go for it," said Luu. "If you don't you are just going to regret that decision and not be happy with yourself."


University Prep's Arie Smidt also made a last second surge past Granite Fall's Isaac Cortes to finish in third place running a season best time of 4:33.98.


Shorecrest's Thurman came in as the No. 1 seeded runner, and stayed the No. 1 runner after crossing the finish as he ran 9:38.29 in his 3,200 win beating high school rival Ben Heagler from Shorewood.


Another tight race from the start that would eventually turn into a solo, tough run for Thurman.


He was still able to execute his race plan after running consistent laps in high winds for the first mile.


"On the second mile, my plan was to do 50 yard surges on the straightaways as I wanted to create distance from the other runners," said Thurman. "The race was pretty rough, especially along the back stretch, but I was able to push through all the way to the finish line."


Shorewood's Heagler second place finish was in ran 9:42.9 for a season best time, and Kamiak's Carp Mukai was third running a personal best time of 9:44.55.


In the first race of the day, South Whidbey's Michael Cepowski won his second consecutive 2,000 meter Steeplechase race at the Birger Solberg Invite beating Jackson's Shane Grossman at the finish line by .26 tenths of a second.

Michael Cepowski clearing the water barrier in the 2,000 meter Steeplechase at the 2019 Birger Solberg Invite. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)

Cepowski and Grossman both ran personal best times in 6:36.72 and 6:36.98.


For the five lap race, Cepowski would trade first and second place spots with Grossman.