By Bruce Cyra
For The Beachcomber
McMurray Cross Country wins large invitational
A sunny afternoon in Arlington saw the girls and boys cross country teams beat out eleven other teams at the Hole in the Wall Invitational last Friday, Oct. 8, with Bodie Thomas setting a new course record over the 1.8-mile course in 9:01 mins.
Thomas was followed by team-mates Harrison Decker, Josh Healey, Cash Nowicki, Brent Calhoun and Dominick Medeiros. The girls’ race was won by the Mustang’s Cecilia Guenther, followed by Emily Harrington, Daisy Jones and Bridget Simmons.
The race’s course, in the fields and woods surrounding Lakewood High School, used the rarely run distance of 1.8 miles — so that all Mustangs set personal bests for the distance. The closest finish of the meet was the dead-heat tie between 7th grader Brent Calhoun and an 8th grader from Coupeville in 11:15.1.
The boys top three runners won their grade divisions of 6th (Decker), 7th (Healey) and 8th (Thomas).
”I was extremely proud of how our team was prepared and focused for their races,” said one of their coaches, Kevin Ross. “Everyone was upbeat and positive on the starting line and mentally in the zone. It showed in the way all of our runners came out and attacked the course, and battled their competition with confidence.”
The Mustangs have two meets left in their season, with the culmination of their season on Oct. 19 at Titlow Park in University Place.
Pirate Harriers set personal bests and a school record in Arlington
Twenty-three years have passed since Barrett Ebright (now Ebright Karnes) set the Pirate cross country 5k record, at 19:28 minutes, at the State Championships in 1998. On Saturday, sophomore captain Madeline Yarkin pushed that record down by 15 seconds as she raced to a new Vashon High School record of 19:13.1.
When told of the new record, Ebright Karnes said she had no idea she was the record holder, and that she still runs where she lives in Portland. Barrett Karnes says she has fond memories of running cross country and track with her coach, Russ Brazill, and that she now has a 10-year-old son who is getting into cross country himself. She also looks forward to returning to Vashon to run the Bill Burby race.
In besting the long-held record, Yarkin led her two teammates who also set personal bests over the 5k course, Atticus Spence and Lilja Bjarnason, both improving by 1:30 over their previous 5k bests.
Coach Laura Johnson was not only happy for Yarkin’s accomplishment but said, “I’m also impressed how Madeline took part throughout the day, readying her team-mates for their own races, all the while keeping her focus for over seven hours before her race even began.”
Due to the vagaries of the current ferry boat schedules, the Pirates had to be on a 7:40 a.m. boat, while Yarkin had to wait until 2:30 p.m. to race. Needless to say, it took another five hours to return to VHS. The men’s Captain, Levi Blasingim, lowered his personal best by more than 20 seconds to set his new standard of 18:24.5 over 5k, leading team-mates Hank McSheehy, Christian Kincade, Dillan Fick, Travis Martin and Caleb Guadamuz.
Guadamuz lowered his best 5k time by more than five minutes. While the weather took a turn towards fall on Saturday, with cool temperatures, clouds and occasional drizzle, the weather was ideal for cross country racing.
The Pirates return to racing with just two days rest, with one more meet to prepare for their next two big races: the League Championships on Oct. 21 and the District Championships on Oct. 30. At the very competitive District meet, the Pirates will attempt to qualify runners for the State Championships in Pasco on Nov. 6.