On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Cedarcrest High School cross country squad competed at the South Whidbey Invitational. The team had planned to go to the Apple Ridge meet in Yakima, but decided not to since the air quality has been poor and the meet could have been canceled.
“This meet was our first 5K of the season,” said head coach Bruce McDowell. “For those that study splits, you won’t exactly see even splits. The first mile plus is flat but then there is a good-sized uphill portion during the second mile and that then a good-sized downhill during the last mile. Runners never want to go out too fast for that first mile. The second mile is always slow due to the hill. The third mile can be fast if the runners really push themselves.
More than 40 teams of all sizes took part. The varsity girls, racing in the 2A and smaller division, did extremely well, claiming two of the top eight spots, and six of the top 20. Elsie Dombek took fifth place and Kelly Hall came in sixth.
The boys, running in the more competitive division, had a few success stories, too.
“Grant Van Valkenburg certainly rose to the challenge of the extra competition,” said McDowell. “He led a pack of seven runners early on. At two miles, he was sitting third just behind the lead pair. Then he hit the long downhill where he just ran away from them to win by 12 seconds.”
Ben Benson, Cedarcrest’s second finisher, placed 11th and the team as a whole placed sixth out of 12.
“There were plenty of good performances in the JV races as well,” McDowell said.
Athletes of the Meet were Bryce Hefner, Kaden Overman, Jackson Frank, Hannah Brabec and Mary McLelland.
Full meet results can be found at the following page. https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=130932#.
This Saturday, the team heads to the Bellevue Invitational.