Well, shoot. The Asotin men, having run well all season, had a down day. Telling them it happens doesn't help, I know. Telling them they'll be back might.
Probably the most disappointed Panther is team leader Thomas Weakland. A young man who always aims high, his fifteenth place finish was far removed from the fifth or better that he worked toward all season.
As expected, Northwest Christian-Lacey destroyed the field. This team rocked all season and is solid 1-5. Totalling 47 points, they defeated the runner-ups, Northwest Christain-Colbert, by a whopping 59 points. Led by junior Luke Schilter, the Navigators took three of the top ten overall placements.
NWC-Colbert answered with three of their own, led by Jack Ammon. The weakness I noted last week at the end of the squad for them hurt against Lacey but not against any of the other teams.
Kenneth Rooks of College Place won the overall race in 15:44, a goodly drop from last year's record breaking effort from former Asotin runner Chandler Teigen, though the course was much slower this year than last due to the recent rain. Also running their way into the top ten were Ben Klemmeck of Liberty Bell at fourth overall, Oren Cox of Bridgeport in seventh, and senior Nathan Vanos in tenth as he led his St. George's team to the podium for the first time quite a few years as the squad took third overall.
Outside the top ten but within the top twenty were a slew of athletes running as individual qualifiers. Andrew Gannon of Bickleford PR'd his way to eleventh place in 16:46. Tarell Manjarrez of White Swan did the same, two steps and one second behind at thirteenth place. Hunter Swanson of Tonakset split the difference between them for twelth. Nathan Hopkins of Davenport placed fourteenth, just in front of Thomas Weakland. Eli Neilson of Liberty Bell ran solidly to land on the individual award podium in sixteenth.
Spencer Reiss of Republic took seventh, with Phillip Geist opening the scoring for the Tri-Cities Prep team. The solid core of that team secured fourth place on the podium as each teammate did their job for Coach Scott Larsen.
Probably the best finish involved jumping and sprint specialist Nate Prior of Asotin, who launched from the top of the hill and chased down a half-dozen runners from various teams. Only one runner managed to hold the speedy senior off at the line; Thomas Martin, Asotin's promising freshman. I think they both were surprised at the result.
Eli Endgelow of Asotin placed second for the team while senior Spencer William finished strong to close his high school career.