Summit HS, October 2018

***  17th October 2018: Summit ranked Number One in the USA!   Scroll down for details,  ***

Teaghan, Azza, Stella, Fiona, Ashley, Jasper and Kelsey.   

(Taken at the Invitation Cross-Country Meet at Lane Community College on 15th Sept, 2018, by Matthew Lasala)

Jim  and Carol McLatchie continue to weave their magic at Summit HS in Oregon.   All their cross-country squads continue to do very well with the girls group above being especially outstanding.   Furthermore Jim tells us that the same very successful girls are eligible for the same age group next year again.   We can look at their last two meets for an indication of just how good they all are.

The headline for the 30th September meeting read: “Girls won Danner Invite and JV championships went 1-5 to perfect score – good day for the girls – boys still on the upswing.”

It was indeed a good day for the girls with victory in the Danner invitational where the top girls were Fiona Max (2), Teaghan Knox (6), Kelsey Gripehoven (11), 14 Isabel Max, Azza Swanson (15) and Jasper Fievet in 26th place.   The points for the team were 38 and the second team was well back with 101 points.   The equivalent Boys’ team was fifth out of 22 teams invited to compete with Zachey Weber fourth and best team runner on the day.   The Girls Junior Varsity team over 5000m was well clear of the opposition taking the firt five places in the race.   Top runners were Magdalene Williams, Ashley Boone, Liv Dowling, Ellie Skiersaa and Jorun Downing.   They won with 15 points to nearest rivals 65.   The Boys team was sixth out of 31 competing squads.  Top man finished fourth (Will Lange).   

It was a big event with 19 races in all and the results of every race, including split times for all runners, were available almost immediately online.   We could maybe take a lesson therefrom.

The next meeting was the Oxford Classic ten days later and there were six races in all with Summit teams out in four of them.    The Junior Varsity girls did as well as they could and won the race with Magdalene, Ashley and Jorun the first three across the finish line.   Zoe Villano was 9th and Sophia Segesta 14th.   Team points were 28 to  second place Bend’s 49.    The Junior Varsity 5000m race saw the girls win convincingly – with runners placed 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and a team total of 22 they won by 76 points from Capital.   Top competitors in this one were (in order) Fiona Max, Teaghan Knox, Kelsey Gripekoven, Jasper Fievat, Isabel Max and Stella Skovborg.   The Varsity  5000m,  boys’ team won their race by 63 to 74.   Their top runners were Zachry Weber in sixth, Sam Hatfield in seventh and Joseph Sortor in 14th.    If the Boys were on an upswing, well the Junior Varsity 5000, showed that they had maybe swung up!   The team was first by 46 points from Bend with the top performers finishing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.   The heroes were, in finishing order, Mason Kissell, Nathaniel Henson, Jaden McCabe, Jesse Vanderborn, Jackson Keefer, and Connor Bellusci.   Four races, four team victories, three individual first places and three races where the top two or three Summit athletes were battling each other for first place.   For instance in the girls JV Gold race winner Magdalene’s time was 20:14.72 against second placed Ashley’s 20:14.91 – less than two tenths of a second in it.   Great stuff!
If you want to read more about Scotsman Jim McLatchie as a coach at all levels from college coach to coach of Olympic runners (plural) have a look  here      Or even as a Scottish international runner himself, then look  at this link

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Pacific Cross-Country Classic was held at Lents Park on 13th October and Jim’s comments on this one were that Summit ran in the Gold groups where the Girls , and I quote, “Throttled the Opposition with 4 girls running under 18 minutes.   He also pointed out that Fiona Max and Stella Skovborg had been under the weather all week.   This is the time of year when they start passing germs around.   Funny that – it seems to be common wherever young runners are in training: I’ve had runners at various Scottish Universities as well as on Scholarships to the States and it has been a mild problem for many of them.   One University coach tells young students that several of them will catch a cold after six weeks – and they do.   It’s usually just a stress reaction and not significant but it’s a nuisance for the coach and the team.  The thing, as Jim says, is to try to minimise the effect, keep them healthy for (a) the State championships, and (b) the Regional Qualifier for the Nationals.   Results:

Girls Varsity Gold, 5000m:   Summit 27 points; St Mary’s 146,  21 Teams competing.

2nd Fiona Max  17:28.6;  3rd  Teaghan Knox 17:47.3;  6th  Kelsey Gripekoven 17:53.6;  7th Isabel Max  17:57.4;  9th Azza Swanson 18:08.7.

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

The Junior Varsity Girls Gold Group:  Summit 3rd (88 points) behind Lincoln (66) and Sunset 67.   17 teams finished.   

1st Jorun Downing 10:-8.8;   2nd Ashley Boone 19:10.8;  3rd Ellie Skjersaa 19:21.6; 38th  Zoe Villano  21:35.5;  45th Sophia Segesta  21:52.9; 46th Megan Lasala 21:53.1

The Boys were also in the Varsity Gold Group and finished a respectable sixth with 167 points out of 19 teams.   Top Summit man was Joseph Sortor in 16:13.3 (27th) followed by Robert Gorman, Nathaniel Henson and Sam Timms.   The Junior Varsity Boys were second team (50 points) – closer to winners Sunset (33) than to third team Camas on 80.   16 teams took part.   Result:

6th Will Lange 17:08.7;  9th Jaden McCabe 17:11.0;  10th  Jackson Keefer  17:11.2; 14th Parker Meredith  17:21,1;  15th Dhruva Sogal  17:21.3.    

Captured at Oxford Classic XC race on October 05, 2018 by Matthew Lasala

There’s a lot of talent in Summit now, and it tales talent on the part of the coach to develop it.   Jim and Carol deserve credit for how the teams are prepped for competition this season – but no one expected the next step in their progress.   This came when MileSplit ranked them Number 1 in the USA.   Look at this.

MS50 XC Girls Team Rankings 2018

RANK                 TEAM                                     LAST RESULT                              COMMENTS

1 (Up 1 Place)         Summit                                    @ Warner Pacific Classic                See explanation below
2 (Down 1 Place)   Mountain Vista HS                @ Continental League Champs     See explanation below

25 Schools Ranked.

Our explanation on flipping Summit (OR) High School over Mountain Vista (CO) at No. 1 and No. 2:

Quite simply, Summit has run much better lately and has shown itself as the best team in the country.

While the Golden Eagles have run well over the last month, they haven’t blown us away just yet and Summit is coming off a spectacular outing this weekend.

The argument for Mountain Vista: The Golden Eagles are coming off another solid win at the Continental Championships on Oct. 10 where they demolished the field with 27 points on an 18:55 average and 60 second spread. On Sept. 21, the team defeated ranked Cherokee Trail and (newly ranked) Battle Mountain in its biggest meet to date. At Liberty Bell, on Sept. 9, the Golden Eagles dispatched ranked Cherokee Trail, Niwot and a fast improving Peak to Peak Charter Team. How about the speed ratings? On Sept. 21, the squad produced: 138-124-121-112-110. On Sep. 9, the scores were: 136-130-129-129-115. Overall, Mountain Vista has beaten more ranked teams within their state.

The argument for Summit (OR): The program hasn’t had a bad race. The Storm’s most recent race on Oct. 13 at the Warner Pacific Classic produced four girls under 18 minutes for 5K and its fifth just under 18:10. Summit defeated the next closest team by 119 points and produced a 17:51 average and 40-second spread. The Nike Portland XC Invite on Sept. 29 was its best effort overall. The team dominated with 38 points and dispatched one of Idaho’s traditional state powers, Eagle High School. The Storm put down an 18:09 average and 53 second spread. Summit also won the North west XC Classic on Sept. 15 and handily defeated No. 8 Jesuit on Sept. 8. Speed ratings for Summit at Nike Portland on Sept. 29: 138-131-124-121-120. While Summit hasn’t raced outside Oregon, it’s beaten a top 10 team and has the firepower right now to compete with anyone.”

That is quite a ranking and, unlike many such lists, the rating body gives good sound reasons for their decision.   Well done girls – and well done Jim and Carol McLatchie.  As Jim says, though, getting to the top is easier than staying there but then he has shown at State level that he knows a bit about that too:  State cross-country titles won down the years since the school was opened in 2001 by the boys were in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and for the Girls in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.   And that’s not counting their contribution to the School’s many track & field titles either.   The teams should get together and present him with a tartan toorie for Christmas!