Smokey Point, WA - For the first time in a while, the Nike Hole in the Wall Invitational would not get drenched by rain come race day. This would typically turn into a muddy, slippery course, but it became one the fastest in the entire state of Washington for a day.
In fact, it was so fast that Issaquah's Julia David-Smith and Woodinville's Luke Houser both broke the 5k course records at Lakewood High School on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Julia Davis-Smith (L) and Luke Houser (R) now hold the Hole in the Wall course records after this past Saturday at Lakewood High School. (Keenan Gray/The Runner)
Only a sophomore, David-Smith ran the fastest time of the 2018 season in the state of Washington for all classifications running 17:16.4. Her time broke current Stanford runner and Holy Names Academy great Jordan Oaks' record of 17:17.4 set back in 2016.
Coming in with an undefeated meet record this season, David-Smith knew this race would be a challenge for her and the toughest one she will compete in until the state meet, so this was the perfect time to bring her best effort.
"My plan coming into the race was to be in the lead pack," said David-Smith. "Taylor Roe from Lake Stevens went out really fast so I decided to go with her."
David-Smith and Roe led the first mile of the race going out at a fast pace and would create a big gap between the two of them and the rest of the runners. Half a mile later, Roe fell off from the front pack near the "Hole in the Wall" and the advantage was in David-Smith's favor.
"As soon as we made our way onto lap two past the one and a half mark, I took the lead for good. I didn't look back at all after I made a move knowing I had very good chance to win today."
Although David-Smith took a commanding lead, she in fact only won by a little margin. Finishing in 2nd was Kendall Kramer from West Valley High School in Fairbanks, Alaska and she ran 17:18.
King's Naomi Smith finished 3rd overall running 17:27.9, the new No. 1 time at the 1A level in Washington this season.
No. 1 North Central from the 3A won the girls division 1 race scoring 75 points. The Indians had three top 10 finishers, which include Allie Janke (4th, 17:36), Erinn Hill (5th, 17:43), and Mila Hill (9th, 18:07).
Lewis & Clark, the No. 1 school in 4A, was 2nd with 187 points and No. 3 Glacier Peak was 3rd with 198 points.
When we thought we saw it all in one race, just a half an hour later another record was set.
Houser became the first athlete in Washington for the 2018 season to break the 15 minute barrier running a blistering time of 14:57.2 in the varsity division one race. This broke the old course record by 14 seconds held by Daniel Maton from Camas, who broke the course record last season as well.
Houser, who won the Nike Twilight division one race last weekend, led the race from the start, and was well on his way to run personal best time.
"Coming in I wanted to break 15:10," said Houser. "Through the first two miles I was feeling really good and my splits were on pace to run that time."
The fact he was feeling really good the first half of the race, he figured he could send it home with an even faster last mile. Potentially break a mark in which he has probably been dreaming about his entire life.
"The last mile I just picked it up with the hope of controlling the race. When I came onto the track, I saw that I could break 15 (minutes) so I just gave it my all the last 250 meters. I broke 15 (minutes) which was a big landmark for me."
The highly recruited runner from Woodinville received a commemorative banner from the meet director after the race for breaking the record. Something he will cherish for the rest of his life.
Trailing behind Houser, Adna's Austen Apperson placed 2nd in a time of 15:05.1 and Ridgefield's Kyle Radosevich placed 3rd in a time of 15:09.2. All three top runners would have broken the old record of 15:11 from last season.
A trio of 4A schools ranked in the top 10 were the top three teams in the division one race with No. 3 Redmond placing 1st scoring 110 points. No. 2 Tahoma was 2nd with 148 points and No. 6 Edmonds-Woodway was 3rd with 154 points.
For full interviews from Luke Houser and Julia David-Smith, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/therunnerwa/videos/?ref=page_internal