The 2018 Golden West Invitational was a success in every way. The entry numbers were the largest ever since the move to Oak Ridge High School, so the word is getting out that the meet is there to stay. Entrants hailed from Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada, and from all over California. The elementary and middle school divisions were well attended and provided these youngsters the opportunity to compete is a national caliber track & field meet.
Performances of note were those of pole vaulters Laurel Wong (Salinas, CA) 13′-4″, 1st (shown below) and Alysia Allen (Reno, NV) 13′-4″, 2nd, who both achieved GWI Girls Top 10 rankings.
A tremendous group of photographs of the meets’ activities have been uploaded for your viewing pleasure.
Be sure to save the date, June 8, 2019 for the 60th Annual Golden West Invitational Track & Field Meet.
Desiree Linden (nee Davila), after nearly DNF’ing in the early miles at the 2018 windy, rainy Boston Marathon, persisted to run with the lead pack. She gradually pulled away and won by more than 4 minutes in 2:39:54.
Des Linden near halfway point of Boston Marathon 2018. – By Gr5555 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Desi, originally from Chula Vista, CA, competed in soccer, track and cross country in her high school years (1998-2001). Her Golden West Invitational performance capped her CIF California State Meet performances where the sub-5-minute miler was a finalist all four years. In both 1998 and 1999 she was 8th in the 1600m. 1999 saw her also attempt to double in the 800m, finishing last after being depleted from the 1600m. In 2000, she improved that to 5th. Her best finish was 4th in 2001 in the 3200m. In all but the 800m at the CIF she was beaten by Sara Bei (now Hall), also a GWI alum who continues a successful marathon career.
Linden studied psychology at Arizona State University, and was a two time All-American in track and cross country. Desi went on to compete in distance running nationally and internationally, including the 2016 Olympics (7th in 2:26:08). Her personal best marathon time is 2:22:38, when she placed 2nd at the 2011 Boston Marathon.
On 13 February 2016, Desi placed second, behind Amy Hastings, at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing in 2:28:54 on a warm day in Los Angeles. By Trackinfo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Running Warehouse, based in San Luis Obispo, CA, will be providing the event winners’ awards for the 59th Annual Golden West Invitational. Each winner will receive a gift certificate for a pair of brand new Asics shoes. Thank you Running Warehouse!