Cats show their stuff at districts

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SEATTLE - "Don't count us out, we'll be back."

Those were the parting words of the Mount Si cross country team as they ended their season last week at Woodland Park in Seattle, the site of the Sea-King District cross-country championships.

For the Wildcats, it was the icing on the cake as their main goal for the season was to make it to districts. It was the chance to test themselves against some of the best competition in the state and push themselves to another level. All seven members of the men's varsity team and Katie Hogan would be competing in the qualifier's race while everyone else ran in the open race. It was the final chance to see what they could accomplish when everyone was rested.

It was the freshmen who really stepped it up on Thursday. Drake da Ponte and Katie Hogan both led their teams. Da Ponte had his best race of the season placing 49th overall in some rough competition. Racing smart, da Ponte went out at a good pace and slowly moved up, running an excellent time of 17:40 on a hilly course.

Behind him was Colin Parsons, Brad Allen and Rob Jepson. Running fifth for the cats was Thomas Goble, who also performed well. Finishing in a time of 18:13, Goble described himself as satisfied with his time, and very excited for his break with absolutely no running.

"I am satisfied with the season and after my month off I will be ready to get back and train for track," Goble said.

Right behind Goble was another addition to the strong freshmen success, Owen Strom, who also completed his best race of the season by running side-by-side with Goble for almost the entire race. He lost touch with him only on the final down hill section of the race. Finishing out the line-up for the 'Cats was Robby Pekara, who also had a great season and made some huge improvements in his time.

The final addition to the freshmen squad came from super star Hogan. With no teammates to help or pace her, Hogan was on her own to test her skills against some great competition. She ran tough the entire race, only getting faster as the race went on. Hogan completed the course in 21:37, finishing 51st over all.

In the open race, some great performances were exhibited by Ariane Barr, Eleisha Davis and David Piekarchzyk. Devan Paulus finished first for the girls, but was disappointed with her season overall.

"I'm a pole vaulter!" Paulus said.

Barr ended her season on a high note.

"I feel pretty good," Barr said. "I ran faster here on a hilly course than I did at Sammamish on a flat course. I felt like I really pushed hard."

Davis also ended her season strong, saving her best race for last. Finishing up for the cats was Barb Holm and Rebecca Coffee.

Piekarchzyk led the boys in the open race with his best race yet. He and Kyle Stanton-Wyman ran right next to each other for half of the race before Piekarchzyk took off. Stanton-Wyman was followed by Brandi Cason, Jon Borghes and Robin Bauer.

~ ~ ~

On a personal note, I would like to thank all of my runners for allowing me the privilege to coach you this season. I am very lucky to in getting to know each one of you individually. All of you really impressed me with your willingness to adapt to my new coaching style and that is not easy to do. I always looked forward to everyday of practice and you guys actually helped me with a lot of things that I came home to fix. I will miss you a lot and I hope you have a great season in 2005. Keep working hard and thanks for a great season!

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