Storm TC runners attain All-American status

Local club girls team places in top 10 at Junior Olympics

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 
photoGabe Dinnel and Emily Wilson earned All-American status at the national Junior Olympic cross country championships.Photo courtesy of Carol Dinnel

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The Evergreen Storm Track Club of Vancouver had two runners earn All-American status on Saturday at the U.S.A. Track and Field National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships.

For the fourth consecutive year, a Storm girls team finished among the top 10 in its division. This year's nationals were held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas.

Gabe Dinnel became the first boy Storm runner to earn All-American status in cross country. Dinnel placed 20th in the 3,000-meter race for ages 11-12. The top 25 finishers in each race were recognized as all-Americans. His time was 10 minutes and 32 seconds. According to Evergreen Storm founder Scott Slamp, Dinnel passed multiple runners on the 800-yard straightaway to the finish line.

Emily Wilson earned All-American status for the second consecutive year, finishing 24th in the race for girls ages 13-14. Her time for the 4,000-meter race was 15:04.5.

Wilson led the way for a Storm team that placed sixth among 33 teams in its division.

Five Storm runners finished among the top 100 in a 13-14 girls race that saw 377 runners finish.

Serena Smith finished 64th (15:40.04), Carla Jooste was 88th (15:52.13), Kaylee Merritt was 97th (15:56.61) and Ashlin O'Neil was 100th (15:57.17). The five are all eligible to compete in the same age division in 2014.

Three other girls running for the 13-14 Storm team were: Carlee Reed (127th in 16:10), Lauren Mahnke (156th in 16:22) and Misun Chong (229th in 16:51).

Slamp credited coaches Mike McKinney and Brian O'Neil for preparing the runners to excel at nationals.

"The runners were definitely ready for the challenge and the results showed that," Slamp said.

For the first time, the Storm had a boys team compete at nationals. Evergreen's 13-14 boys team placed 13th among 39 teams, led by Miguel De La Melena finishing 31st with a time of 13:39.71. A total of 442 boys finished that 4,000-meter race.

Also scoring for the Storm in the boys 13-14 race were Sam Johnson (96th in 14:10.83), Kyle Cooper (114th in 14:17.06), Aiden Pullen (164th in 14:31.02) and Sean Flynn (219th in 14:51.34).

Also in the boys 13-14 race for the Storm were Ruben Blancas (293rd in 15:17), Ryan Cibart (300th in 15:21.72) and Stephen Kiraly (352nd in 15:45.64).

In the girls 11-12 race, the Evergreen Storm placed 26th among 37 teams. This was the first national race for each of the six runners. Kate Kadrmas was the first Storm runner to finish the 3,000 meters, placing 171st in 12:19.13. Other Evergreen runners were Rachel Blair (179th in 12:21.63), Drew Lobis (235th in 12:39.15), Makynzie Howard (241st in 12:40.42), Machenzie Merritt (314th 13:17.02) and Avery Minich (334th in 13:31.40).

In the boys 15-16 age division, Evergreen's Jordan Moore placed 38th with a time of 17:17.02 for the 5,000-meter race.

In the girls 9-10 division, Olivia Dinnel finished 100th with a time of 12:46.21 for the 3,000 meters.

The 25 runners who represented the Storm in San Antonio qualified through state and regional races.