Last week’s “jamboree” races at Charles Wright Academy, about one mile long and shorter than the normal 1.5 mile distance, provided the McMurray Middle School cross country teams a preliminary look into how they will stack up to other teams this year. It also offered those new to cross country racing a glimpse of how racing is done and a boost of confidence in what they are capable of accomplishing.
Both girls and boys raced into second place behind Charles Wright and ahead of Cascade Christian and Life Christian Academy. Due to the small size of some teams in the combined league, only the top three runners from each school were scored. When counting the top five, as is the usual cross country scoring system, the Mustang boys came out on top due to their tight-knit “bench.”
At Charles Wright, the girls raced first and were led across the line by second-place Madeline Yarkin, followed by Leah Kearns, Alexandra Waterworth, Taylor Huffman, Sailor Frith, Autumn Daly, Amelia Medeiros, Laurel Calhoun, Selene Dalinis, Linnea Egan-Stark and Ena McEachern. The boys raced next, and finished just before a torrential downpour forced the team under its tent shelter. The Mustang boys were led by third-place Alexander London-Chambers, followed by Christian Kincade, Leo Ralston, Dominic Medeiros, Kean Timblin, Oli Nielsen, Simon Zapf and Forest Macnab.
The course, which wound up, down and around the campus’ woods, contained complicated turns, tough hills and some log-jumping. A few runners exited the woods for the final sprint in to the finish with muddy mementos of “trail tatts” on their knees and shins. The course at this Tuesday’s meet at Titlow Park in Tacoma (after press time) returned the harriers to a more standard course of wider paths and fewer steep gullies, along with the usual 1.5 mile distance. More Mustangs are expected to race at Titlow Park due to recovery from injuries, colds and obtaining the required number of practices.
— Bruce Cyra is the coach of the McMurray cross country team.