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Real country: Mount Si XC runners test their skills on a challenging home course | Valley Record Photo Gallery
The final approach through the tall grass was the biggest challenge for boys leader Devin Sharp.
The senior, who finished first for Mount Si with a time of 18:36, 10th overall against Juanita and Sammamish on Wednesday, Sept. 25, had his first run on the course at Mountain Meadows Farm in North Bend. It’s the second year for the team on this scenic, rural location, and it tested Sharp and the rest of the team in many ways. At Mountain Meadows, bracing scenery competed for attention with tall grass and molehills.
Mount Si girls ran first, winning as a team. Hannah Waskom finished second overall with a time of 20:17, Lindsey Sydnor and Ellie Bruce took fifth and sixth, and Sydney Leonard took eighth.
Following Sharps, Mount Si’s boys came in a pack: Jonny Gendro was 12th with 18:56, Sean Hecker was 13th with 19:05, Hunter Franklin was 14th with 19:09, Grant Baker was 15th with 19:23, and Spencer Ricks was 18th with 19:52. Jackson Stokes was 19th with 20:03.
Mount Si’s typical practice runs are mostly flat and fast. Open meadows and elk territory is a new experience.
“It’s a really good course, except for the mole hills. Be really careful,” said Sydnor.
“It’s a beautiful place,” said Sean Hecker. “Don’t think about the course. Put it in the back of your head, and look at the guy in front of you.”
“Don’t start off too slow,” suggested Gendro, because this course takes longer than your typical 5K.
Waskom, the fast freshman, made a goal of competing and strategizing her race, conserving energy at the beginning and aiming for consistency.
Her second place finish felt good. She had her eye on some competitors who left her behind early on.
“I wanted to come back and try to get with them at the end,” Waskom said. “I was able to do that.”
She ran in middle school, and with an outside club, Speed Unlimited of Bellevue.
“I run because I like it. It’s the only sport I do. I’m pretty dedicated to it.”
Senior Sydney Leonard came out for her first season. She’s building the perseverance of running distance races, and learning how to keep the pace and be competitive with a tight-knit, spirited bunch.
Leonard has the idea of doing triathlons, and sees this sport as a good preparation for that.
A number of Mount Si runners braved the downpour at the Bellevue Cross Country Invitational, held Saturday, Sept. 28, at Lake Sammamish State Park.
In the varsity 1 and 2 class, Waskom finished with a time of 20:26.19. Bailey Scott had a time of 20:43.74. Sydnor had a time of 21:49.08. Leonard finished 11th in the Open class with 23:40.40. Freshman Hailey Hammer had a time of 24:56.47, Melissa Hruska finished at 25:25.95, and Miranda Jarocki clocked 27:48.48.
Among the boys, Grant Baker ran in the varsity 3/4 class and took ninth with a time of 18:47.07. In the Open competition, freshman Ryan Moore was Mount Si's top finisher at 136 with a time of 21:53.34. Ellison Brink, Bailey Rosenberger, Coleman Trader, Andrew Schmitt, Will Knight, Dustin Robey and Cole Westerlund also ran.
You can follow the Mount Si Cross Country team at http://svsd410.org/domain/241
Hannah Waskom crosses the finish line at Wednesday's home meet.
Mount Si runners begin their run.
Ellie Bruce on the second lap.
Sean Hecker and Hunter Franklin pace a Juanita runner on a creekside trail.
Hailey Hammer and Melissa Hruska begin their second lap.
Devin Sharps hustles in his second lap of Mountain Meadows Farm at Mount Si’s Aug. 25 home meet.
Mount Si boys lead a cheer before starting their run, with help from visiting alum Dom Canady.
Wildcat Lyndsey Sydnor approaches the finish line. She took second for the ‘Cats.