Top runner tries for 2 more titles
Galen Rupp's cross country season ended with a second-place finish at the Foot Locker national championships in December, but his fall season technically won't end for another two weeks.
Rupp, the state cross country champion the past two years, is training for an indoor mile at the University of Arkansas on Jan. 16 and an indoor 2-mile in New York City on Jan. 24.
'The Arkansas meet is an open field with a bunch of sub-4:00 milers and it's a fast 200-meter, high-banked track, so we're looking for something under 4:05,' says Alberto Salazar, Rupp's coach. 'We're pretty much continuing his training from cross country season.
'After the New York meet, he'll get some time off to get ready for track season.'
Rupp, who attends Central Catholic, is the defending champion in the 3,000 meters at the state track and field meet. He'll be chasing two all-time state bests in spring: the 1,500 mark of 3:46.8 and the 3,000 best of 8:08.0. The 3,000 record was set by Steve Prefontaine in 1969.
David Douglas senior Kyle Bennett says the Scots, who are 4-4 heading into their Mount Hood Conference opener at Reynolds tonight, are beginning to jell as a team.
Bennett, a 6-3 forward who quarterbacked the football team to the Mount Hood title, says the Scots' senior class has been focusing on winning the conference basketball title the past two seasons.
'We're a pretty balanced conference this year, so if we can all come together we have a shot,' he says. 'There'll be a lot of tough games Ñ Barlow, Centennial, Central Catholic. We're not going to have it easy.'
As for doing well at the state level, Bennett says the Scots are taking a long-term approach.
'We're an overlooked conference, but we have teams that can beat good teams from other leagues,' he says. 'It's just a matter of winning those games at the right time, in the playoffs.'
As a football player, Bennett is headed for a Big Sky Conference school, perhaps Weber State, or to the University of Oregon as a walk-on. He says a number of David Douglas players are thinking about walking on at Oregon.
Momei Qu, a senior at Wilson who has lost in the state girls final the past two years, recently finished 13th at the Copper Bowl, a national junior tournament in Arizona.
Qu, who is headed to the University of Illinois in August, says she may play some local indoor events before spring but is essentially in a daily practice mode until March, when the prep season begins.
'I'm not going to play in any national events late in summer because I'll be going to college, so my biggest goal is to win state this year,' Qu says. 'But, that's been my goal the last two years.'
The boys season is shaping up to be highly entertaining, with a number of Oregonians ranked in the December U.S. Tennis Association junior poll. Ranked in the top 100 for boys 16 and under are Ric Mortera of Jesuit, Joel Kincaid of Lincoln, Tommy Hicks of Grant and Steven Robertson of West Linn, all juniors.
Hicks reached the state final last year before losing to defending champion Brett Joelson, who has graduated.