Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.
As the guy who is charged with writing about what big prep events are coming up on the schedule, I often receive emails and calls from coaches and event directors looking for a spotlight to be pointed on their events.
For example, earlier this month, I got a notice from John McCausland, Mountain View boys golf coach, about the Jeff Hudson Invitational golf tournament. So we let you know about the premier early season golf event.
Then Gary Mills, Union boys golf coach, let us know about the Titan Cup, a unique four-team Ryder Cup-style event. So we talked about that event last week.
This week, there are a couple more events to let you know about.
Paul Shapard, Prairie's long-time golf coach, wants you to know about the Prairie Invitational, which will be bring together more than 100 of the area's top golfers for an 18-hole tournament Wednesday at The Cedars on Salmon Creek.
And Mat Clark, Mountain View boys tennis coach, wants you to know about the Thunder Invitational tennis tournament. Mountain View, Skyview, Columbia River, Prairie and Fort Vancouver are the local teams that will be competing in this tournament on Friday and Saturday at Mountain View. Also, Mark Morris, Olympia and Todd Beamer of Federal Way will travel in to compete.
Oh, and there's one other event we wanted to let you know about. Ken Martinez, cross country coach at Aloha (Ore.) High School wants you to know about the Nike Pre-Nationals cross country meet at Portland Meadows race track.
So why are we helping a coach who isn't from Clark County promote an event that isn't being held in the state of Washington?
Well, to put it simply, my mom said I had to.
But setting all nepotism aside, the Nike Pre-Nationals is a pretty cool event. First of all, while it is held in Oregon, it's only a couple of miles away from downtown Vancouver.
Secondly, the meet attracts more Clark County teams than any other cross country meet, and that includes the season-opening Hudson's Bay Run-A-Ree.
Local teams will be led by ranked programs like Camas, Union, Columbia River and Prairie. Battle Ground, Heritage, Skyview, Hudson's Bay, Mountain View, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland and King's Way Christian are also scheduled to compete.
The meet includes more than 4,000 runners from more than 120 teams from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maryland, and British Columbia.
The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with middle school races and concludes with the Jim Danner Championship races at 3:40 p.m. (girls) and 4:05 p.m. (boys). Camas' nationally-ranked runner Alexa Efraimson will be among the top contenders in the Danner girls race.
This meet has everything you could expect to find in a cross country meet, except maybe a bear sighting.
You want to know how cool this cross country meet is? They charge admission -- $5 a person.
Charging admission to a cross country meet? Normally you have to bribe people to show up to a cross country meet.
So if you're looking for something to do on Saturday, check out the Nike Pre-Nationals.
You'll make my mom happy.