Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nike Pre-Nationals Press Release

Contact: Ken Martinez, Aloha High School
Head Cross Country Coach

- Major Invitational Cross Country Meet to Take Place on Saturday, September 24, 2011 -

BEAVERTON, Oregon – Aloha High School will be hosting the eighth annual Nike Pre-National Cross Country Meet at Portland Meadows in North Portland. The Nike Pre-National Meet is one of the premier cross country meets on the west coast with teams coming from seven states and British Columbia. Over 80 teams with over 2,000 athletes will participate at the meet. There will be 15 different races including four divisions of boys and girl’s varsity races. The top varsity race is the Jim Danner Championship where 20 of the top teams and individual athletes in the region, West Coast, and States beyond will compete.

The Nike Pre-National Meet will begin at 8:30 AM on Saturday, September 24 with an open Citizens race followed by a 3000-meter middle school boys and girls races. High School races will begin at 9:45 AM with the Division 3 Varsity Girls race. Gates will open at 7:30 AM and there is an entrance fee of $5.00.

“Each of the races looks to be very competitive, especially the Jim Danner Championship races are looking to be extremely exciting. The field is packed with top programs and amazing athletes from the West Coast and other States. The Boy’s Jim Danner Championship could go to any one of the teams competing in that race,” said Aloha Head Cross Country Coach Ken Martinez. “We have worked hard to make this meet one of the best experiences for all of the athletes and their fans. The course is fast, challenging, and easily viewable for its entire length. We have seen many past participants go on to great running careers in college and professionally, including 2003 Danner Champion Galen Rupp who recently broke the American record in the 10,000. Last year’s champion, Molly Grabill is now running for the University of Oregon.”

While the entries in the varsity races have not yet been finalized, the Jim Danner Championship races for both boys and girls are expected to be very close in the team races and for individual honors. The Jim Danner Championship Boys race is deep with experienced teams and exciting individual performers. Gig Harbor of Washington is ranked No.23 in the Nation by ESPNRISE is the pre-meet team favorite. Other nationally ranked teams in the Boys field include Seattle Prep at No. 32 and Jesuit (Beaverton) at No. 47. The field is made even deeper with teams from California, Colorado, and Texas. Ramona (San Diego area), Mater Dei (Santa Ana), Don Bosco (Los Angeles area), Redondo Union (Redondo Beach), Strake Jesuit (Houston), Madera South (Madera, Ca), and Cherry Creek (Englewood, Co). Additional top programs from the Northwest include: Joel Ferris (Spokane), Lindbergh (Renton), Lakeridge (Lake Oswego), and South Eugene.

The pre-meet favorite for individual honors is Jacob Smith of Wenatchee. Jacob is ranked No. 15 individually in the Nation by ESPNRISE after an impressive Cross County and Track season as a junior. Ranked No 21 in the Nation by ESPNRISE is Korey Krotzer of Auburn Riverside (Auburn, Wa) who is also the top returning finisher from the 2010 edition of the Danner Championship. Challenging for the win will include: Dylan Blankenbaker of Ramona (Ramona, Ca), Evan Malone of Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Ca), Alex Kimsey of Joel Ferris (Spokane), and JJ Dominguez of Don Bosco (Los Angeles area).

The team race in Girl’s Jim Danner Championship is just as competitive as the boy’s race with many outstanding programs. A loaded Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) is ranked No. 17 in the Nation by ESPNRISE and defending 2010 Jim Danner Champion will head to the starting line as the pre-meet favorite. Two additional nationally ranked teams include No. 22 Mountain View (Meridian, Id) and No. 47 Cherry Creek (Englewood, Co). Teams that will be looking at this meet for a big win and to bring them to national rankings include: Ayala (Chino Hills, Ca), Tahoma (Maple Valley), Jesuit (Beaverton), Lindbergh (Renton), South Eugene (Eugene), Sunset (Beaverton) and Lincoln (Portland).

The Girl’s race for individual honors will be very close. Six of the top 10 finishers in last years race will be returning for another shot at the individual title. However, the pre-meet favorite for individual honors is Maddie Meyers of the Northwest School in Seattle. Maddie is ranked No. 15 in the Nation by ESPNRISE, is the Washington Division 1A Cross County champion for 2010, represented the United States at the World Youth Championships in Lille, France this summer, and set a national high school record in the 2,000M Steeplechase. Challenging Maddie for top honors will be Sarah Reiter of Lindbergh (Renton) who is the defending Washington Division 2A Cross Country Champion and finished second in the Jim Danner race last year. Other girls who will challenge for top honors include Lyndsey Mull and Rachel Bush of Redondo Union (Redondo Beach), Sam Mckinnon of Mountain View (Meridian, Id), and Taylor Khan of Ayala (Chino Hills, Ca). Two runners who will be making their big meet debuts are super-froshes Jordyn Colter of Cherry Creek (Englewood, Co) and Alexa Efraimson of Camas (Camas), both of whom have the legs to challenge for the top spot.

For more information about the Nike Pre-National Cross Country meet, please visit:

ABOUT THE NIKE PRE-NATIONAL MEET:  The Nike Pre-National Meet was first run in 2004 at Portland Meadows. Before 2004, the meet was known as the Jim Danner Memorial Invitational and was first run in 1980 at venues across the greater Portland area. The Pre-National Meet is now held on the same course as the Nike Cross National Meet held every December for the top high school cross country programs and individual runners in the nation. The Pre-National meet was created in part to allow prospective qualifying teams and individuals to race the national championship course and to raise the regional and national image of the competing programs.

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