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Katie Knight crosses the finish line in record time at the Northwest Nike regionals in Boise on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2011. (Lori Wordell / Courtesy of Lori Wordell)

Area runners make splash at Nike regionals

What a difference a week makes.

As sensational as the runners from Spokane were at the state championships in Pasco on Nov. 6, they may have been even better last Saturday in Boise for the Nike Northwest Regional cross country meet.

It started with North Central sophomore Katie Knight winning the girls title and setting an Eagle Island State Park course record of 17-minutes, 34-seconds for the 5K run.

Meanwhile, Lewis and Clark’s Kenji Bierig and NC’s Vince Hamilton went 1-2 – separated by one second – to lead their teams on to nationals in Portland on Dec. 4.

Knight’s run was 23 seconds lower than the previous record and 11 seconds faster than Amy-Eloise Neale, who beat Knight by seven seconds in setting a course record at the state championships.

Jesuit of Portland won the girls title with 91 points, barely holding off surprising Bozeman, the Tracy Walters Invitational champions, by three points.

While Bierig, the State 4A champion, was chasing down Hamilton to win in 15:35, NC was winning the regional for the fourth-straight season. The Indians, fresh off their fifth-straight State 3A title, had 76 points. LC, second to Eisenhower in the State 4A race, had 103 points to beat Ike by 11 for the trip to nationals.