As the Vashon High School Pirates prepare for the district cross-county meet this Saturday, the team is reflecting on the season so far following its performance at the Nisqually League meet this past Thursday at a rainy Fort Steilacoom Park.
At league, the Pirates returned to the same course they ran in their first race of the season back on Sept. 12. In just over a month, the Pirate harriers made improvements in their times and their racing ability over the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of grass, gravel, pavement and dirt around the park course.
The Pirate girls were led by freshman Ella Yarkin, who came in seventh overall in 21:34, an improvement of over a minute from her first race. Yarkin was followed by team captain junior Lucy Boyle (in 21:41, over 1:20 faster), sophomore Ellie Lande (24:23), sophomore Isabelle Spence (25:26, three minutes faster) and junior Simone Newcomb (25:32).
Likewise, the Pirate boys were led by senior Gianno Waller, who guided his team to two season-best performances and four personal records. Waller finished sixth overall in a season best of 17:57 (an improvement of a minute and a half over the first race), followed by sophomore Cole Parks (in 19:43, better by a minute), junior Garrett Mueller (in 19:43, 1:20 faster), senior Hunter Justis (19:53, 41 seconds faster), sophomore Simon Clark (19:48, a personal record), sophomore Jake Hannah (20:08, a personal record and over two minutes faster) and senior team captain Theo Hu (20:30, 1:20 faster). Coach Laura Johnson said that she expects an exciting race on Saturday at district. With the boys team just now hitting its stride and a small but mighty girls team, she expects a couple runners from each team to vie for a berth at the state championship meet in November.
— Bruce Cyra is an island runner and VHS cross-country fan.