| Early Bird, the first
official meet of the season, came and went quickly on Friday, August 24th.
The mens' team had won this meet for four years straight, and we coming
into the race stronger than ever expecting to win. Then the night before
at a pasta dinner Forrest Tahdooanippah, Southwest's top runner, called
coach Ben Zhao and informed him that a freak injury would keep him from
competing at Early Bird. This opened up the problem of the lack of a solid
fifth runner and put the fate of the meet in the hands of the 4th and 5th
runners instead of just the fifth runner.
Without Forrest the mens' team still finished a very close second to Chaska. With the results comes good news and bad news. Neil Grosscup finished first for Southwest and second overall to Mar Jang, ranked first in the State. Neil however was not tired after the race, as he ran through the chute, across the field to get water and then immediatly went on a threshold run. Erik DeLapp finished second for Southwest and fourth overall. Dan Dickinson finished close behind him, 7th overall, running the race as more of a workout and running his threshold right after the race in 6:15 mile pace. Sophomore sensation Erik Maloney proved he could race faster than the coaches thought, finishing 22nd and with a solid time, nearly as fast as his track PR when converted to 5K (The Early Bird course, miscalculated by those in charge of the meet, is 5250 meters long). An unexpected top finisher, Pablo finished just ten seconds behind Maloney to wrap up the top five for Southwest. Sixth for Southwest was John Thompson, and wrapping up the top seven was Decathlete All-Star Carl Henderson.
The women's team finished fourth overall. Koby Hagen was the top finisher, finishing 7th individually.
Since the estimated converted times cannot be certified to be completely accurate, no time results will be posted from this meet.
Concerning Forrest's injury, he bruised his arch on a rock and is expected to be back in full training in less than five days.