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Big numbers bolster cross country team
Art Galloway has been coaching Mount Si cross country for 14
years, and by the numbers of runners he has turning out this year, the program
is very successful.
More than 40 runners are working to be competitive this season,
with seniors Payton Thompson and Sheena Kern leading the way.
But figuring out how the team will fair against other KingCo
competition is tough.
"It's up in the air, we have so many new people," said Galloway. "Most
of our numbers are brand-new people to cross country. It might take a
couple of weeks to see how things really develop."
Helping manage those numbers is Mount Si track coach
Kristene Kjenner, who is serving as an assistant coach to Galloway.
"This is her second year as an assistant, and I think that has
really helped get more kids out. Since she is a track coach and makes that
connection," said Galloway.
And with the larger numbers comes some new talent. "I have
some younger kids with a lot of potential that need a couple of races under
their belt," the coach said.
Thompson is likely the one who has the best shot at making it to
state. "His real goal is to go to state. He
has worked really hard this summer and has gotten his mileage up there in
the 40- to 50-mile range. I have to work harder to tailor the workouts to what
I would call a more elite runner and make sure that he is getting
enough mileage in and quality runs," said Galloway.
Talking about his summer training, Thompson said, "I went to a
couple of camps and did some speed training. My forms changed a lot; I
have been working on that. I want to cut times down every time I run."
He also realizes how interesting running in the Valley can be after
being bit by a dog last week. "Our motto now is, `Who let the dog out?'
after Payton was bit running last week," said Galloway.
Alongside Thompson at the front will be Kern, who suffered a
stress fracture in an ankle last season. "We are really working hard to keep
her healthy. We are trying not to work her too much, but also pushing her
enough to get to state," said Galloway.
At a glance:
Coaches: Art Galloway (14 years), Kristine Kjenner, assistant
Top returners: Payton Thompson, senior, Bryce Kaestner, junior,
Dan Barry, senior, Sheena Kern, senior, Ashley Wiegardt, senior, Amy
Hyatt, senior, Solveig Garhart, senior, and Sarah Coffey, senior.
Top newcomers: Kyle Cunningham, senior, Dan Corlett, junior,
Keith Rivers, senior, Jesse Turner, freshman, Jarro Wiegardt, freshman,
Nick Verbon, junior, Justin Isackson, senior, Sarah Dempster, senior,
Kit Englund, junior, Lillian Lazenby, junior, Erica Tawney, senior, and
Heidi Strom, sophomore.
Outlook: The group should finish near the middle of the pack,
with Thompson and Kern qualifying for state.
Mount Si cross country schedule:
Meet times are 3:45
Home meets in bold
Sept. 14, at Sammamish
Sept. 21, Interlake
Sept. 28, Liberty
Oct. 5, at Newport
Oct. 12, at Cedarcrest