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Highlander recap: Freeman's Poulsen pulls away in the end to claim boy's title

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

EV's Hofstee kicks off junior year with win in girl's race

Freeman's Barrett Poulsen celebrates as he crosses the finish line in first to win the boy's race at the Highlander Invite on Sept 10, 2022, at Shadle Park High School in Spokane. (Keenan Gray/The Runner WA)

SPOKANE - Barrett Poulsen has a note on his wall that explains everything you need to know about what his goals are for this upcoming season: win a state championship.

Well, the Highlander Invite is no state championship meet by any means but seeing Poulsen cross the finish line first in the boy's race on Saturday at Shadle Park High School, you'd would have thought he'd won a state title.

The junior from Freeman kicked off his 2022 campaign with a statement win at the Highlander Invite as he crossed the finish line in a first-place effort of 13 minutes, four seconds for the 2.5-mile course, holding off Mead's Noah Holden and Lakeside's Hayden Blank on the final straightaway.

“It felt really nice to get out there and run fast for the first time since June,” Poulsen said, who placed 29th at 1A state last fall. “It was a lot of fun, and I was just hoping for the best.”

It was a four man race up front from the gun between Poulsen, Mead's Holden and Jonathan Lieb, and Lakeside's Blank. For 1.5 miles, the boys were neck and neck with each other before Poulsen made a surge on the second go around of 1.25-mile loop with under 800 meters to go.

As they made their way towards the water tower on the northside of the course one final time, Poulsen took one look over his shoulder to see the separation from the pack before making his final surge onto the track to finish the last 300 meters, eventually ending leading in a two second victory.

Poulsen's run was a minute and 37 second improvement from last year's effort when he placed third overall in the sophomore boy's race.

“I just wanted to stick with the front and close hard in the end,” Poulsen said. “Coming around over on the loop, I was just inching away from the other guys, and I thought, ‘This doesn’t feel crazy hard, maybe I’ll just try to push the pace a little bit’. It worked out.”

Mead's Holden and Lakeside's Blank crossed the line together at 13:06 but gave the second-place edge to Holden. Holden's teammate Jonathan Lieb was fourth in 13:10.

Shadle Park's Luke Hammond finished fifth overall in 13:22, while Richland's Crew Martell and Jackson Booker were sixth and seventh, running 13:30 and 13:32.

East Valley's Logan Hofstee charges up hill in the girl's race on Sept. 10, 2022, at Shadle Park High School in Spokane. (Keenan Gray/The Runner WA)

East Valley’s Logan Hofstee took care of business in the girl’s race with a convincing 38-second win in a personal best time of 14:44.

“I’m happy I was able to pull out the win,” Hofstee said. “This was definitely my first invite running alone, so I have a lot to learn for this season.”

The 2021 2A runner-up got out hard from the start on her own and didn't look back for a second to win her first race of her junior season. At last year’s Highlander Invite, she took fifth overall in a field featuring intense competition that included two eventual state champions - Kennewick's Macy Marquardt (3A) and Asotin's Chloe Overberg (1B/2B).

“It was weird,” Hofstee said. “Last year, I had other girls near me, and it was easier to run with people than it is alone. I’m still learning that side of running.”

Mead's Charlotte Cullen finished second behind Hofstee in a time of 15:20. Behind Cullen were two more Panthers finishing in the top-10 Elle Vanning and Raegan Borg finished fifth and ninth in 15:34 and 15:49.

Lewis and Clark's Bridget Burns led the way for the Tigers placing third in 15:24. Lakeside's (Nine Mile Falls) Sadie Meyring took fourth in 15:27 and East Valley's Abby Crossley was sixth in 15:38.


To view more results from the 2022 Highlander Invite, click here.

To see more photos, click here.

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