Eagles run well at big-time Nike Jim Danner Invite

October 5, 2005

Thousands of high school runners flocked to Gresham over the weekend to compete in the 26th Nike Jim Danner Invitational Meet at Blue Lake Regional Park. The Eagles ran in Division three, which consisted of 18 teams for the boys and 13 teams for the girls. With cool winds, mist and occasional rain, running conditions were a refreshing break from the late-summer-sun running of September.

After 5,000 meters of fairly flat (but lung-burning and calf-attacking just the same) terrain on the banks of the Columbia River, the Eagles soared ahead of most of the competition, with the girls finishing second and the boys finishing third in their respective divisions.

“The meet was huge and very competitive,” commented Coach Kristin Uhler. “We had some really great performances … We’re a fairly young team, with Melissa Princehouse being our only senior. We still have some work to do mentally and physiologically because Districts will be very competitive this year, with Summit racing well, Hermiston racing up and down and Redmond finishing ahead of us at Skip Sparks.”

Only the top two teams and the top seven individuals at districts qualify for the state meet.

Highlights for the varsity girls (out of 99 runners in their division) include Erin Jones finishing second, Ashley Braniff finishing eighth and Melissa Kauffman finishing 16th.

Jones and Braniff both posted personal records.

“The boys team continues to improve each week,” Coach Rich Hedges said. “We have three very tough teams in our district that we are trying to get competitive with. Hermiston, Summit and Redmond are all ranked at the state level … The boys are outstanding kids and they are great to coach.”

Highlights for the boys varsity (out of 124 runners in their division) include Leo Castillo taking first place, Kevin Dye taking 21st and Carlos Quintana and Juan Zuniga sticking together at 40th and 42nd place.

Varsity highlights:

Girls (99 runners total)

Second in division as a team

Erin Jones 2nd- 19:08.51

Ashley Braniff 8th- 19:58.89

Melissa Kauffman 16th- 20:25.03

Hillary Hilden 34th- 21:40.84

Melissa Princehouse 35th- 21:48.56

Jennifer Hanners 42nd- 22:14.44

Janne Lucas 58th- 22:53.91

Boys (124 runners total)

Third in division as a team

Leo Castillo 1st- 16:05.85

Kevin Dye 21st- 17:28.54

Carlos Quintana 40th- 17:56.80

Juan Zuniga 42nd- 17:57.66

Anthony Walden 54th- 18:10.44

Gary Thompson 66th- 18:22.07

Alex Vanslyke 84th- 18:46.87

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