This year’s McMurray cross country on a pre-race “run out.” (Bruce Cyra Photo)

This year’s McMurray cross country on a pre-race “run out.” (Bruce Cyra Photo)

Mustang cross country team sees strong turnout this year

The coaches expect high spirits and exciting races for the 2019-20 school year.

McMurray Middle School began this cross country season with an even larger turnout than in 2018, when the Mustangs captured the boys’ league championship and the girls captured third place.

This season, the Mustangs started with 34 runners — well over the 22 it garnered last year. Despite three of its top runners moving on to high school, the boys’ team returned seven veterans to join another six to pursue their goals of completing the usual 1.5-mile races, including Vashon’s home meet on Oct. 8, culminating with the league championships on Oct. 22. One notable change about this year’s season is that sixth graders will race in the same race as seventh and eighth graders instead of running a separate race.

Tuesday’s initial meet after press time at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma was expected to give coaches a first look at how the boys’ team will shape up, with four eighth-graders and three seventh graders lending their experience to the otherwise young team. Members include Christian Kincade, Dylan Fick, Kean Timblin, Oli Nielsen, Forest Macnab, Nathan Ulrich and Alexander London-Chambers.

The girls’ team returns all nine of 2018’s team: Madeline Yarkin, Alex Waterworth, Amelia Madeiros, Taylor Huffman, Ava Webb, Elouise Lawrence, India Elliott, Neve DeVoght and Sienna Magdasy. Joining the veterans are 15 more girls, who bring experience from the spring’s track and field season and others from the Chautauqua and McMurray “Girls on the Run” program. They were introduced to this year’s assistant coach, Zoe Marzluff.

The coaches expect high spirits and exciting races for the 2019-20 school year.

—Bruce Cyra is the Mustangs’ cross country coach.

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