Friday, December 10, 2010

Nike Nationals In Portland

Last Thursday evening we rented a car and drove down to Portland to cheer on Lewis and Clark's Cross Country team. Lewis and Clark's and North Central's teams had already flown out in the morning. Everything was on Nike's dime and they treated all the high school athletes from around the nation like royalty. I suppose, in the running world, they kind of are.

When Lewis and Clark's team and North Central's team were introduced, the announcer called Spokane the "Rift Valley of running in the United States." He pointed out that Spokane was the only city that had two teams to earn a spot at Nationals, and how that is usually the case. I overheard one parent telling another that they had read that if you are a promising female cross country runner, the place to live is New York State. If you are a male cross country runner, the place to live is Spokane, Washington. Pretty amazing, yet pretty unknown by most of us in Spokane, that our city is held in such high regard in the running world. This notoriety is especially amazing when you consider that, for a good deal of the year, our streets and trails are covered in ice and snow.

The day of the race was really cold and windy. The course was on the inside paddock of a horse race track, very muddy with artificial hills and a myriad of hay bales to jump over. It was a mess!

In the end, NC placed 6th and LC placed 15th - a very good showing. LC's Kenji Biering finished 10th and NC's Katie Knight finished 8th for the girls.

Watching these kids race was very inspiring. We will see some of these kids again in the Olympics someday.

Mayor Mary Verner invited the athletes to Monday's city council Meeting where they were recognized by the city council for their dedication and their success.

All Spokane area high school runners, you make us proud! Thanks for a great season!


Hank said...

Spokane high school running rocks! But you knew that. On top of NC and LC being in the Nike Team Nationals, Andrew Gardner of Mead, and Nathan and Kendra Weitz of Shadle competed in Footlocker West finishing 2nd, 5th, and 6th respectively in their races. I'm not sure but I think all three are at Footlocker National which is being held tomorrow.

EvilElf said...

Hank, I should have mentioned that they were recognized at the city council meeting too. Seems Joe Shogan is quite the XC buff!

Jon Snyder said...

So if Eugene is "Tracktown USA", shouldn't we lay claim to being "Crosstown USA"? Just sayin.'

Don't forget Community Colleges of Spokane men's cross team has won NWAACC ten years in a row. (!) And the CCS women were 2nd this year.

Great post.