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2013 Press Release #2 - Nike Pre-Nationals

Published by
Nike Portland XC   Sep 25th 2013, 3:24am
Attached Documents
2013 Press Release No 2Posted 09/25/2013 (55 downloads)


Contact: Ken Martinez, Aloha
High School Head Cross Country Coach
(503) 544-6111 / Kenneth_Martinez@beaverton.k12.or.us


 BEAVERTON, Oregon (September 23, 2013) - By Steven Sparks

Who said that only horses race fast at Portland Meadows? On Saturday, September 28th at Portland Meadows, the Nike Pre-Nationals Cross Country meet will take place with three of the Nation’s premier male prep runners going head-to-head-to-head for 5,000 meters, all to see who can be the best.

The race? The Jim Danner Championship starting at 4:05 PM

The runners? Elijah Armstrong, a junior at Pocatello (ID) High School is considered by DyeStat, a web page dedicated to Cross Country and Track and Field, to be the pre- season #6 prep runner in the Nation. Last weekend in Boise at the Bob Firman Invitational, Elijah faced off against another DyeStat nationally ranked runner, Wolfgang Beck, a senior at Gig Harbor (WA) High School. This was a rematch of sorts. Last season, Elijah and Wolfgang faced off in the Jim Danner Championships at Nike Pre-Nationals where Wolfgang took home first place and Elijah had to settle for second place. In this most recent rematch last week, Wolfgang again had the better of Elijah!

So the top two finishers of the 2012 Jim Danner Championship will face off again this Saturday. However, there is another boy ready to crash the Elijah-Wolfgang reunion. Matthew Maton, a junior at Summit High School (Bend, OR) is ranked by DyeStat as the #18 male prep runner on the Nation. Matthew had an incredible track season last spring and has vaulted into the national prep spotlight.

All three young men had a productive summer of training and worked very hard. Gig Harbor Coach Mark Wieczorek said, “Wolfgang is very confident. He has learned that training smart is just as important as training hard.” The Gig Harbor boys’ team has been receiving a lot of attention from the media and running programs this year since DyeStat ranked the team as the #2 boys’ team in the nation. Coach Wieczorek stated that Wolfgang is a great leader on the team and that “the boys have handled the attention well. They know it isn’t guaranteed and just because someone says you deserve something doesn’t mean anything until you go out and do it.” Wolfgang leads the boys by example “and is a great teammate, supporting and helping his teammates and the younger runners on the team,” said Coach Wieczorek.

Elijah Armstrong’s coach, Shannon Whitmer, is very excited for Elijah’s junior campaign. Elijah has been covered with Idaho State cross country and track honors in his first two campaigns. He is already a two-time defending State Meet Cross Country Champion for Idaho Division 4A schools. “Elijah’s goals are to stay healthy, go for his third state XC title, and help the team capture its third state meet team title!” said Coach Whitmer.

When not fishing this past summer, Matthew Maton was putting in the work and the miles for this cross country season. He had a rough end to his cross country season in 2012 when at the Nike Cross Nationals championship “he was knocked down at the start and spiked all over his head and back!” said his coach, Carol McLatchie. He has used that disappointment to stay focused for this season and put in the hard work to get ready. Coach McLatchie continued by saying, “Matthew is looking forward to helping his team win the Oregon 5A State Championship in November with post season plans for NXN Regional and Footlocker Regionals.”

When asked about the Nike Pre-Nationals meet, each coach said that their athletes are ready to get out there and compete. Coach Wieczorek said, “Wolfgang raced very hard at the Bob Firman last week and the plan is to race more conservatively this week.” However, Wolfgang is a competitor as illustrated by his devastating finish last year, going for broke at 4000 meters. Coach Whitmer stated that ”Elijah loves the competition and will be gunning for him (Wolfgang) in Portland. Elijah likes to run out front, so whoever is out there with him. .," get ready for a tough race! Matthew is playing it cool, happy to be off the front page, so to speak. Coach McLatchie was content to say, “Matthew is looking forward to the challenge. He loves to race!

So here are three outstanding young men, beloved by their coaches, leaders and supporters of their teammates, fierce competitors, and very confident in their abilities. Will Wolfgang become a two-time Jim Danner champion? Will Elijah be able to avenge his loss from last season and last week? Will Matthew crash the whole party and announce his presence with authority? Will one or all of them break 15:00? You will have to come to Portland Meadows this weekend to see what promises to be an outstanding race to find out!

For more information about the Nike Pre-National Cross Country meet, please visit www.NikePreNationals.com.


The Nike Pre-National Meet was first run in 2007 at Portland Meadows. Before 2007, the meet was known as the Jim Danner Memorial Invitational and was first run in 1980 at venues across the greater Portland area. The Pre-National Meet is now held on the same course as the Nike Cross Nationals Meet held every December for the top high school cross country programs and individual runners in the nation. The Pre-National meet was created in part to allow prospective qualifying teams and individuals to race the national championship course and to raise the regional and national image of the competing programs.

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