Animal of the Year: Kenji Bierig (junior) – Lewis & Clark: Bierig got an early win at the Shadle Invite then battled with teammate Chris Ennis for the Tiger’s top spot. During the post season, Kierig really stepped it up to become one of the State’s elite and returns at the 4A’s best runner in 2010.
Ben Johnston (senior) – North Central: After a slow start placing 7th at Tracy Walters and missing Firman Johnston proceeded to put the hammer down. He finished a close second to Schroeder at Richland then never lost again on route to his 3A State Championship.
Allan Schroeder (senior) – Mt. Spokane: Schroeder had a very consistent season racing at the elite level. He chased Thorne and Johnston most of the season but got the victory with a great kick at Richland.
Adam Thorne (senior) – Ferris: Just like Schroeder, Thorne was a consistent racer all season long even with everyone gunning for him. He won at Tracy Walters, Won Shadle, 9th at Stanford, 3rd at All League, Won Regionals, and 3rd at State.
Justin Zimmerman (senior) – Ferris: The 1:51 800 specialist showed his grit and toughness at the 5K distance in 09. His performances in the dual vs. North Central and at State were instrumental for the Saxons.
Break on Through: This award given to the racer that “Breaks on through to the other side.” They move up from one level of racing to the next...frosh to JV, JV to varsity, varsity to elite...
Casey Adams (junior) – North Central: Adams, a varsity veteran, was expected to be a valuable contributor this fall if NC wanted to return to the top spot. He exceeded expectations improving his 21st place in 08 to 6th in 09. Adams is the top returning runner from the 09 State meet for 2010.
Vince Hamilton (junior) – North Central: North Central runners have developed a tradition where a key varsity runner is emerges from the depths of the JV All league. Every year I will read the results and exclaim “who is that?” This year that runner was Hamilton. He finished 22nd in the 08 JV race and was instrumental in NC’s run to a fourth State title finishing 17th. Hamilton broke his ribs during a dual meet with Prep and LC at finch running downhill and continued to race well.
Alex Kimsey (sophomore) – Ferris: in his sophomore year, Kimsey consistently ran 2nd or 3rd man on the senior laden Saxon team. He picked a GSL victory at Finch out kicking Weitz. His improvement was key for Ferris in their championship season.
Jon Smith and Christian Bucko (junior) – University: Smith and Bucko ran side by side for the entire season and emerged as strong front runners, which was the missing piece for the Titans to return to State. Even though the team fell just shy, Smith and Bucko earned a trip to State gaining valuable experience for 2010.
Rookie of the Year: Andrew Gardner (freshman) – Mead: Gardner ‘s arrival to high school cross racing was highly anticipated and was the subject of lots buzz on the Internet. His impact was immediately felt by the Panthers with the youngster taking up the front running duties. Andrew was the highest (and only) placing freshman in the AAA/4A State meet since 1987.
Sumner Goodwin (freshman) – Lewis and Clark: In addition to his runner up position in the GSL Frosh race, Goodwin finished 8th in the East Region Alternate’s race. Daniel Schofield (freshman) – Mead: Schofield finished 3d in the GSL frosh all league.
Travis Thorne (freshman) – Ferris: Baby Thorne picked up the win at the Bullpup Invite along with his 4th finish at GSL Frosh All League.
Keith Williams (freshman) – North Central: Williams missed out racing on Varsity this season but pretty much won every non-varsity race he entered; Richland, GSL frosh, East Region Alternates, NXN Northwest JV.
Team of the Year: Ferris – The Saxons entered the season as pre-season #1 in the Harrier Super 25. They missed finishing the season as NXN Champions by six points. Along the way they picked GSL, District, Region, and State Championship.
Lewis & Clark – The slow starting Tigers finished tied for fourth in the GSL with an early loss to Mead. They also finished a close second to the Panthers at Mt. West. LC really stepped it up in the post season finishing 3rd at Districts, 2nd at Regionals, and 5th at State.
Mt. Spokane - Mt. Spo raced consistently at high level all season in big meets as well as dual meets. The Wildcats showed how tough they were head to head with a 3rd place finish in the GSL. Their young squad finished 5th at State.
North Central – NC reloaded after their 08 NXN Championship falling just short of the GSL title by 3 points. They easily defended their 3A State title and earned a third trip to NXN by winning the Northwest Region then went on to finish seventh in the finale.
University – Like most of the teams the Titans battled illness and injury early in the season but came on strong in the post season. They slipped past Mead in a sixth man tie breaker to qualify for Regioanals where they finished sixth missing a trip to State by 11 points.
Coach of the Year: Mike Barbero – University Craig Dietz – Mt. Spokane Mike Hadway – Ferris Jon Knight – North Central Michael Lee – Lewis & Clark