Elgin/Imbler finds pack success in Richland invite

By Observer staff October 09, 2012 08:48 am
RICHLAND, Wash. — Elgin/Imbler jumped into one of the top cross country invitationals in the Pacific Northwest at Saturday's 44th annual Richland Invite meet.
Although the team got swamped in the large Division 2 field, one of the most important things that Huskies coach Kevin Lambert saw was a strong pack attack from his squad.
Jonathan Sparks was the top Elgin finisher in the boys 3.1-mile Division 2 race, placing 82nd overall in a time of 18:47.01.
But all of the Elgin scoring runners were able to finish within a very short 31-second span.
Jason Palmer was 84th in 18:50.26, while Steven Flippo was 89th in 18:59.33. Carson Reid was Elgin's fourth finisher, placing 92 with a time of 19:01.44, while Jonathan Flippo was the fifth and final scoring runner for the Huskies, taking 116th in 19:18.55.
"Once again our boys team ran as a team and finished one right after the other.  They have all been working very hard over the last few weeks and it paid off today with several season bests -— even afterbeing adjusted up to the 5K since this run was 200 meters short," said coach Kevin Lambert. 
"John Sparks ran really well once again with a time of 18:47. But the really neat thing was that the rest of our guys stepped up and really closed the gap.  Our number 2 runner was Jason Palmer and he was only two or three seconds behind John.  After that, our number three was Steve Flippo who was only 10 seconds behind Jason.  With such a great team pack, we are looking forward to good things in our last few meets of this year." 
Jake Burgess (137th, 19:56.55),  David Madsen (144th, 20:01.40) and Daniel Flippo (165th, 21:05.70) rounded out the boys squad in the division 2 race with 174 runners competing.
Sam Holland of Washington's North Central won the Division 2 race in a time of 16:32.74.
In one race, Ben Madsen was the only Elgin runner competing, taking 123rd out of 260 runners in 20:21.62.
In the girls division 2 race, Elgin/Imbler's Angela Stafford was able to break into the top 25, with a 25th-place finish in 21:55.61. The Elgin squad had two more runners, but not enough to qualify for a team score. Emily Schmittle placed 37th in 22:27.78, while Autumn Wheeling took 49th in 23:02.02 in a field of 113 runners.
Pendleton's freshman Delaney Clem won the Division 2 race by almost a minute, clock in at 19:47.91. Clem led five Lady Buckaroos across the line in the top 24 finishers and the Pendleton squad dominated the team race.
Elgin will be traveling to Milton-Freewater Friday for the annual Gutbuster Invitational, hosted by McLoughlin High School

Micah Flippo leads Elgin 
In the massive middle school boys race with 106 runners, seventh-grader Micah Flippo grabbed 14th overall with a time of 12:46 for the tough two-mile course at Carmichael Middle School. Eighth-grader Hayden Scott of Weston-McEwen won the race with a time of 11:19.73.
Elgin's Kevin Duffy was 99th in 18:16.99, while eighth-grader Kyle Ruiz was right behind him in 18:23.97. Timothy Flippo placed 106th with a time of 22:13.75 for the two-mile middle school race.
In the girls race, sixth-grader Larae Ruck finished 69th in 18:52.19, out of 79 racers.