Grant's Alec Wall may be capable of winning the New Balance Invitational on Saturday, but that might not be what's best for the Generals' season goals.
Wall, who has committed to the University of Oregon next year, is the defending champion in the 5,000-meter event, finishing last year's race in a course-record 15 minutes, 6 seconds.
But he sat out the district track meet in the spring because of a fatigue fracture, rested his feet much of the summer and now is working to reclaim his form.
At Tillamook on Sept. 5, Wall ran a time similar to what he clocked as a junior, indicating he is recovered, but Grant coach Greg Cotton said that doesn't guarantee a repeat victory Saturday.
'He could win, but we're not that focused on winning at this point of the season,' Cotton said. 'We want to be peaking at the end of the season, not the beginning.'
Grant returns two of its other top runners in senior Joaquin Chapa and junior Scott Wall, Alec's brother, and either of them could win. Junior Brent Bonfiglio is also back on the varsity team that finished sixth in the state last year.
Cotton said Chapa is running extremely well and will be tested by the top runners from Bend, Sunset, Newberg and Mountain View Ñ teams the Generals will compete with for the state meet.
The Generals' girls team is led by junior Annaliese Chapa, Joaquin's sister. The Generals also return Liz Wild, Kyla Burnet and Kira Donnelly from last year's sixth-place state finishers.
Grant's runners plan to skip the Northwest Classic this season in favor of running at the Stanford Invitational later this month. The downside of that plan, Cotton said, is that the coaches and runners will miss the football team's home game against Jefferson at Grant Park.
'I wouldn't be surprised if 3,000 people walk out of their homes and watch the game,' he said. 'Everyone is talking about the first home game in probably 50 years.'
HOME GAME: Lincoln High's community will celebrate the opening of Mike Walsh Field with a barbecue before its game with Canby today. Completion of the first half of the overall project Ñ installing a FieldTurf surface Ñ took less than two years. The second half focuses on remodeling the track.
PC BONDING: Fourteen teams of golfers teed up for the first Portland Christian tournament Tuesday, the first of three events the school hopes will connect its community of parents and alumni more closely. The second event is a crafts bazaar Nov. 23, and the third is a fair and auction April 26.