Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gene Niemi's Griak Invitational HS Photo Album

The pack in the Women's Gold HS Race.
Photo by Gene Niemi
Wayzata Boy's team sprint  toward  the finish
Photo by Gene Niemi
                                        Emily Covert on her way to the HS Girl's Gold Title.
                                                              Photo by Gene Niemi

                                                     Grace Ping. Photo by Gene Niemi

Emily Covert didn't devise an elaborate plan for the Griak girl's HS Gold race.  Her mission was simple.  Stick like glue to the lead pack.  Conserve energy for an attempt to break away from the others during the last mile.  She executed  the plan and was rewarded with her first victory over Grace Ping and Anna Fenske when the trio were running in the same race.

Her confidence boued, Covert will attempt to build on her success with continued improvement through the rest of the season in Minnesota, followed perhaps, by a chance to test herself against the best in the US.

In the boy's race, South Dakotan Derick Peters, who goes to West Central  HS, turned in one of, if not the most impressive performance on Saturday.  Seemingly oblivious to the hot, humid conditions, Peters not only won the 5K, he finished in 15:49.43 and he made it look easy.  "I was really nervous before the meet," Peters said.  "I don't know why." So much so that he couldn't finish the cheesecake he ordered at the hotel. Peters was hoping to finish it after the race.
Derek Peters striding toward the finish.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Peters wasn't expecting a fast time, he said, the objective was winning.  His race plan was to lay back early and to use what he considered to be his strength, running on the hills, where he planned to push the pace going up and down.  Many of the hills were in the later part of the run, fitting into his plan to use that to his advantage. He began the race a bit faster than he'd planned, but he still felt good.  So, instead of slowing down, Peters tried a unique strategy to keep up his rapid tempo.

Eventual runner-up, Dowling Catholic's Matthew Carmody, was in front of the lead pack, and Peters passed him.  Instead of blowing past Carmody, however,  he tried to enlist him instead.  "He was encouraging me," said Carmody.

The reason for this unusual tactic was that Peters believed  two in the lead was better than just one. The tandem attack didn't last for long, though as Peters dropped Carmody when he charged up one of the hills and was on his own for the rest of the race. He looked back at times to make sure that nobody was sneaking up on him.  Peters could obviously have run faster had that been the goal.

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