McMurray runners win inaugural state championships

The victories capped off a strong season for both teams.

Running as the “Vashon Islanders,” the McMurray Middle School boys and girls cross country teams won the inaugural Washington State Middle School Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Washington on Oct. 20. The victories capped off a strong season for both teams, with the boys going undefeated and the girls finishing first or second in every meet.

The girls team was led by strong performances from eighth-graders Katherine Thompson, Annabelle Thompson, Bridget Simmons, Mele Nelson, and sixth-graders Adeline Arthur and Lulu Whitfield. The boys team was represented by eighth-graders Harrison Decker, Leif McBennett, Max McLachlan, and Mateo Villavicencio, seventh-grader Toby Swan and sixth graders Izzy Dardeau and Chris Healey.

Earlier in the week, the boys won the Nisqually League championships, placing seven runners in the top ten over the 1.5 mile distance at Titlow Park in Tacoma. The girls finished as runners-up to Annie Wright, with four girls finishing in the top ten.

The team celebrated the season’s accomplishments on Wednesday with an ice cream social at McMurray Middle School, with special recognition given to the eleven eighth-graders who will be moving on to run with the high school team next year.

The runners would like to thank head coach Kevin Ross and assistant coaches Joe Yarkin and Sam Thompson for their help and guidance, as well as all of the parents who came out to support and cheer on the runners all season long.

John Decker is the father of a McMurray cross country athlete.