Amir Ado of Ferris was sure he could win Saturday at the 10th annual Tracy Walters cross country meet.
The victory proved to Ado that his summer training was on point.
Ado outkicked Hayden Dressel of Mt. Spokane by a second, finishing in 15 minutes and 56 seconds.
It was the first time Ado beat Dressel.
“It was kind of a little bit hard,” , who moved to Spokane from Africa last year, said of the race. “Hayden Dressel was pushing me back. The summer training helped. I ran 100 miles a week for four weeks.”
Ado, Dressel and Jacob Christner turned the first mile in the lead, but Dressel opened a 10-meter lead on Ado when they came through the finish area through the two-mile mark.
Ado said at times his stomach hurt during the race. He figured it had to do with eating too close to race time Saturday morning.
Dressel put a couple surges in trying to lengthen his lead but couldn’t shake Ado.
With 400 meters to go, Ado sensed an opportunity and took advantage of it, pulling ahead of Dressel as he finished strong.
Ferris coach Mike Hadway praised Ado.
“It went according to plan,” Hadway said. “Hayden brought it back (near the finish) but Amir dug in and got him.”
Dressel was pleased with how the race unfolded.
“I wanted to be the guy who strung the race out and then I wanted to spice things up a bit,” Dressel said. “Amir has always had a crazy kick; he’s such a good finisher.”
Christner took third (16:09) to lead NC to the team title.
Each team was allowed to enter 10 runners, scoring the top eight. NC finished with 105 points, 43 ahead of runner-up Kamiakin.
NC’s runners were separated by 1:34. If scored as a normal meet – the times of a team’s top five – the Indians’ runners from first through five had just a 33-second gap.
“It was our first race and some of our guys got out too fast and they paid in the middle for it,” NC coach Jon Knight said.
Knight had particular praise for Christner and his second finisher, Markus Taylor (16:18), who took fifth overall.
“Markus ran amazing today. He’s a gamer,” Knight said.
At Shadle Park’s Highlander Invitational, Kearan Nelson of Central Valley captured the girls individual tile.
Nelson finished in 14:34, 14 seconds ahead of Katie Thronson of Lewis and Clark.
LC, second at the State 4A meet last year, romped to the team title, finishing with 43 points. North Central (81) took second.
Nelson was curious to see how her summer training translated in the first race of the season. And she enjoyed the course.
“I’ve never run this course before and I liked it. It’s nice and flat,” Nelson said. “I took my summer training pretty seriously, so this was a good start.”
LC coach Kevin Swaim was pleased with the tight pack of his girls.
“I’m very pleased,” Swaim said. “We got a good sense that our summer work paid off.”
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