Canby Invitational 2010, 9/9/10 Molalla River State Park

By Leo Collins

The 20th running of the Canby Invitational took place on Thursday at Molalla River State Park with pleasant temperatures in the low 60s & cloudy skies: optimum running conditions. The early season race traditionally generates good deal of enthusiasm, which was quickly evidenced by one young girl, who scampered to find a good position along the course from which to cheer & she proudly exclaimed: “I’m going to get this cheering thing down!” Soon she had bounded down the line & found a vantage point from which to watch the varsity girls. The girls’ varsity race saw Morgan Anderson of Silverton take an early lead, as the runners headed off to the bridge & then up the hill. She was trailed by Michaela Freeby of Putnam, who trailed by about five meters & she in turn led a parade of runners.

They soon raced up the hill and were at the barn, which was just past the 1K mark, which was reached in 3:33. Mona Low of Franklin had moved into contention at that point and the trio were well ahead of a trailing string of runners, when they reached the mile mark in 5:56. From that point the runners raced out of sight for the most part but, when they raced up the hill away from the river (not too far from the start) Morgan Anderson held a slight lead over Law & Freeby. Somewhat surprisingly Karen Qu had made a bold move to move into 4th place about 30 meters behind & she held a five meter lead over Maddie Makinster of Putnam.

Moving soon to the back portion of the course again the runners jockeyed for position, while they raced for the most part beyond the vision of most of the fans but during that period Freeby opened up a gap of about 20 meters by the 3K mark. Anderson still held a nominal second but she had essentially been caught by Sunset ‘s Qu. Sherwood ‘s Klekoanne Hollins provided the biggest surprise at that point for she was a mere five yards behind the duo.

Freeby continued to push the pace and with only a kilometer to go, she appeared to be on her way to a facile victory but Qu made a late charge to close the gap. With the finish line only a hundred meters away the Sunset runner appeared to have a real shot at a victory but Freeby dug deep to find a reserve and pulled away to win in a time of 20:09 That time was the fastest time since 2005 and bodes well for the senior, who qualified for the state meet her first two years and finished 6th at District in 2009 to earn her third trip to state (26th - 19:53). Her goal for the season incidentally is to be the first girl in Rex Putnam history to finish in the top Ten. Sami Parr placed 14th at State in 2004 &, I believe, is the best for RP so far. Karen Qu finished in a time of 20:11 and led her Sunset team mates to the team title. Klekoanne Hollins took third in 20:25 & Morgan Anderson was 4th while Maddie Makinser garnered 5th. Sherwood placed 2nd in the team scoring with 73 points & Canby, led by Krissy Peterson, earned third place.

The varsity boys’ race was somewhat of a misnomer in the early going as Franklin’s Ian Burgess & Jackson Baker were under orders to breeze the first 3K, and accordingly they reached the 1K in 3:07 & the mile in 5:20. At the 3K, which was reached in 10:11, the duo ran with Zach Newsom of Sunset, who apparently was also under orders to conserve his strength. As they neared the two-mile mark around 11:25 one of the Sunset coaches yelled to ‘Go whenever you want’ and the race was finally being run in earnest. To my surprise Ian Burgess, who had previously won at Wilsonville, dropped off the pace first to leave the battle to the other two runners. It was Baker, who had the most in reserve, as he pulled away to five second victory with a time of 16:37. Newsom finished an impressive second and he led his team to victory over Franklin, while host Canby finished a distant third. Ian Burgess took third in 16:59, while Gustavo Cortez of Marshall claimed 4th in 17:15. Fletcher Hazelhurst of Franklin garnered 5th but was followed by Sunset’s Nathan Brown & C J Spisla. Colton Snook led Putnam as he scored 8th.

Jackson Packham of Franklin sped out to a 3:09 kilometer & a 5:22 mile & the sophomore never looked back as he won the Freshman/Sophomore boys’ race in a time of 10:25. Canby freshman Morgan Webber ran a smart race by holding back early & then bounding through the pack to earn 2nd in a time of 11:02and be the first frosh. (3K) Christopher Black of Franklin won the JV boys’ race with a time of 18:46 besting Christopher Chu of Sunset who ran 18:51. The girls’ JV title went to Sherwood’s Avery Rosenbalm in a time of 13:12 (3K), while Charlotte Corless of Sunset was 2nd in 13:14.