The Lewis-Clark State cross country and track programs have signed four athletes – two men and two women – to National Letters of Intent to participate in both sports at LCSC beginning in the fall of 2013.
The signees include Conrad Larson, from Victory Charter School in Nampa, Idaho, Joey Davis from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Wash., Erin Russell of Prairie High School in Battle Ground, Wash. and Cayla Smeltzer of Potlatch High School in Potlatch, Idaho.
Warrior track and cross country coach Mike Collins has already signed Jessica Peterson of Port Orchard, Wash. for the 2013 season.
Larson out-kicked favorite Paul Ryan of Logos High School in the last 800 meters to win the Class 2A cross country championship at Hells Gate State Park in Lewiston, putting an exclamation point on a decorated prep career.
Larson was an All-State selection in all four seasons at Victory Charter and finished third at the state meet as a junior. The time of 16:08 he used to win the title on Oct. 27 is his personal-best on a 5K course.
“Conrad is a small-school runner that we believe will really step it up in an environment like LCSC where he will have a talented group of teammates,” Collins said. “His upset at the state meet shows a lot about his competitiveness and what we also expect him to bring to the program.”
Larson is an exemplary student who will enter college with 28 credits thanks to a rigorous college prep curriculum through Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. He is ASB Vice President at Victory Charter and has completed over 250 hours of community service during his high school years.
Davis was an integral part of a Kamiak cross country team that won a WESCO league championship and a district title in his senior campaign. He was a second-team All-WESCO performer this fall and a team captain.
He has earned three varsity letters in both track and cross country.
“Joey is a great kid with a great attitude,” Collins said. “We are very excited to have him here in the fall.”
Russell made her mark on the track at Prairie, a perennial power in Washington’s 3A classification. She is the school record holder in the 3200 meters, and finished seventh in the event at the 2012 state championships.
She enters her final spring season ranked second in the state in all classifications in the 3000-meter run.
“Erin’s performances in cross country really don’t indicate how good we think she can be,” Collins said. “This is evidenced by her track performances and how well she ran during track in the spring.”
Smeltzer earned her fourth varsity letter in cross country this fall for Potlatch, and will pick up her fourth in track this spring.
She placed in the top 50 at the state 1A/2A cross country meet in each of the past two seasons and was a regional champion last fall. Smeltzer placed fifth in both the 1600 and 3200 meters at the state track championships as a junior and was Potlatch’s nominee for Female Athlete of the Year at the 2012 Warrior Athletic Association’s High School Awards.
“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Cayla at our summer camp the past few years and I have no doubt that she will do well here,” Collins said. “She has run with some of our girls already and will definitely benefit from the changes she will see in her training environment.”
The Lewis-Clark State cross country teams finished eighth (women) and 15th (men) at the NAIA National Championships on Nov. 17, producing the 50th and 51st All-Americans in the program’s storied history.
The indoor track season is barely underway, yet the Warriors already have their first qualifier for nationals in Kaytlyn Coleman (shot put).