Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Noyes races to silver at state

Cross country progress

Express Staff Writer

Mali Noyes, second at Saturday?s State 2A girls? cross country meet in Soda Springs, has come a long way since she debuted on the Idaho prep cross country scene with a 41st place finish in the 2003 Twin Falls Classic footrace at Canyon Springs. Express photo by Jeff Cordes

Firth?s Lacey Holder better watch out?Mali Noyes is hot on her heels.

In fact challenger Noyes was ahead of reigning champion Holder for most of Saturday?s 3.1-mile state race.

Noyes, a Community School sophomore, nearly knocked off defending state champion and fellow sophomore Holder on Saturday in the State 2A prep cross country run at Kelly Canyon Park in Soda Springs.

In a field of 64 runners, Noyes (20:40.86) finished two seconds back and was a close second to Holder (20:38.57). Silver medalist Noyes was 13 seconds ahead of third-place Andrea Reed (20:53.49), a Ririe senior.

No runner made as big an improvement as Noyes, who ended up 13th overall in Saturday?s mythical state championship including all 295 girls from the 5A/4A/3A/2A classes.

Last year at Eagle Island State Park in Boise, Holder won the State 2A run over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) by a huge margin of 14 seconds and Noyes finished a distant 25th place, 2:39 back.

This year Noyes was knocking at the door with a pace of 6:39.4 per mile and earned All-State honors for finishing among the top 20 runners.

Noyes, 15, daughter of Bobby and Kathy Noyes of Ketchum, credited a summer full of training with Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team coach Rick Kapala for being in what she called ?the best shape I?ve ever been in.?

She said, ?We were climbing mountains, skiing, running intervals?and sometimes doing it two times a day. I wanted to get into the top 10 at state, so getting the silver medal definitely exceeded my expectations.?

Community School coach Doug Fenn said, ?Looking at the 3.1-mile course for cross country, well, that?s not a real workout for Mali because she?s been running 10 miles. We know she has a ton of energy.?

Her ability in hill climbing affected the way Noyes and coach Fenn prepared for Saturday?s state race.

Fenn said, ?We looked at the course and saw there was a big hill at the beginning, so we came up with a plan. Mali went out and decided to attack the first hill early and let the other people catch up with her.?

?I knew I was good at hills so I went out fast at the beginning and was able to maintain that pace,? said Noyes. ?She (Lacey Holder) was behind me the whole way. I was trying to get rid of her but she would not leave. Then she got even with me and it went back and forth that way.?

Added Fenn, ?The other runners didn?t have the staying power so Mali finished ahead of many runners including the girl from Valley (Lisa Romer) who had beaten her at district. In fact Lacey Holder kept stepping on Mali?s heels while they ran.?

The difference was Holder?s sprinting ability near the finish.

?Lacey is much more of a sprinter and she got Mali at the end,? said Fenn. ?But Mali had a phenomenal race and kept her composure. Lacey Holder?s parents even said that no one has ever challenged her before.?

Two other Wood River Valley runners took part in Saturday?s state run that attracted 638 runners.

Wood River High sophomore Tess Dahlgren (22:26.82) placed 27th of 94 runners in the 4A footrace won by Jerome sophomore Carissa Lee (20:16.12). Dahlgren moved up eight places and sliced 46 seconds off her first state cross country run last year.

?It was one of Tess? best races to date,? said Wood River coach Joel Zellers.

Community School sophomore Mikey Matteson (19:52.04) finished 35th of 86 runners in the State 2A boys? run won by Soda Springs senior Keane Shuler (16:40.73).

At Soda Springs, two runners other than Lacey Holder of Firth repeated as individual medalists.

Bear Lake?s tandem of Sheralyn Davidson (20:35.20) and Dallas Eborn (16:31.02) repeated as State 3A champs?soph Davidson by 15 seconds and senior Eborn by 52 seconds. Eborn had the fastest boys? time of all 343 runners at Soda Springs.

4A winners were Jerome?s Carissa Lee and Jason McKee of Century.

The 5A medalists were girls? mythical state champion Hilary McClendon of Eagle (19:39.02), a junior, and Coeur d?Alene sophomore Michael Armon (16:52.52). They were the first individual state titles ever for Eagle or Coeur d?Alene runners.

In the final team accounting, the Capital boys? won the closest race 49-54 over Boise in the 5A finals and the Coeur d?Alene girls captured their first state team title since 1985 by a 72-85 margin over Skyline of Idaho Falls.

The Bishop Kelly girls from Boise and Hillcrest boys from Idaho Falls repeated as 4A team winners?Bishop Kelly 41-78 over Century of Pocatello and Hillcrest 49-80 over Nampa. It was Hillcrest?s third straight boys? title.

Bear Lake swept the 3A girls? and boys? championships, by a 36-65 margin over Weiser in the girls? tallies and 58-72 over Snake River in the boys. And, no surprise, Firth swept the 2A girls? and boys? banners. It was Firth?s eight consecutive state boys? title and third straight girls? championship.

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