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Cross country Falcons place in top five at Seaside and conference preview meets
South Whidbey placed well among deep competition at the 3 Course Challenge this weekend.
The Falcon girls team again placed well among steep competition - they finished in second place in their school size; the boys team placed fifth.
South Whidbey was one of 89 teams from California, Oregon and Washington at the cross country meet in Seaside, Ore. Part of the intrigue was that racers’ courses were drawn by lot, rather than the racer choosing either the easy, moderate or hard courses.
“It’s a real challenging course,” said Falcons head coach Doug Fulton. “You learn a lot about their toughness.”
“If they get through that, they kind of get the feeling they can run through anything,” he added.
Only one Falcon placed in the top 10 in any of the races.
Lilli Stelling, a Falcon junior, placed first in Division 4 (small schools) and eighth among all 227 girls runners on the 5,000-meter hard course. She finished in 24 minutes and 29 seconds.
Junior teammate Bonnie Klamm joined her on the hard course and finished in 28:05, which put her in 70th place.
There was also a 5,000-meter moderate course, which three Falcon girls runners raced. Senior co-captain Jessica Cary placed 19th and finished in 25:10.
Nora Felt, a junior, claimed 39th place in 26:15. The lone Falcon freshman to travel to Seaside was Emma Lungren, and she took 53rd place in 26:46.
Cary was second among Division 4 runners, Felt was eighth and Lungren was ninth.
“They all ran really well,” Fulton said.
Times were much higher than the Falcons’ previous 5,000-meter races because the course had rolling hills, grass flats, trails, sand and even a large mud hole.
More than 360 boys ran on the 5,000-meter hard course, and South Whidbey’s boys cross country team finished in the top 100. Senior captain Will Zink ended in 37th place with a time of 21:49. Jhamil Bader-Jarvis, a Falcon junior, placed 70th in 22:39. Cole Zink, a freshman, finished in 96th place in 23:10.
Saturday’s performances continued a string of large-scale meets for South Whidbey. Prior to departing for the tourist town on Oregon’s coast, South Whidbey’s cross country teams placed third at a Cascade Conference preview meet last week.
Both the boys and girls teams finished behind first-place Cedarcrest and second-place Lakewood at Lakewood High School on Sept. 20.
The Falcon girls runners fared better with their overall score of 70 points to the boys’ total of 101, however.
That was in part because Stelling placed second overall in the two-mile race. She ran a career-best time in 12 minutes and 14 seconds.
Five of the Falcons next top runners were within 45 seconds of each other.
Cary was the second Falcon to complete the course (15th overall). She finished the course in 13:45, also a personal record by 14 seconds.
Klamm broke her previous two-mile record by 27 seconds. She was done in 13:50 and claimed 16th place. Fellow junior Felt took 17th place in 14:03, which almost matched her performance at the Sehome X-C Invitational on Sept. 10.
The lone freshman on South Whidbey’s varsity girls team crossed the finish line in 21st place in 14:32.
She was soon followed by Anna Hood for 22nd place. Hood set a personal record in 14:27.
Kovic finished in 14:46 for 32nd place.
Kelsey Hardaway, a junior, placed 44th in 15:56 for her first two-mile race as a Falcon.
Stiff competition among the meet’s 126 runners distanced South Whidbey’s boys team farther from first place at 101 points to Cedarcrest’s 18.
First-year runner Noah Moeller improved his two-mile personal record by three seconds. He finished in 11th place in 11:12.
Will Zink claimed 17th place. He ran his second-best two-mile time in 11:32.
Cole Zink, a freshman, finished close behind in 11:33 for 20th place.
Bader-Jarvis, a junior, set his personal best time at 11:44. He took 25th place.
Truman Hood, a freshman, improved his two-mile time by 11 seconds to 12:31. He had to fend off his teammate Imes who also finished in 12:31.
Bergquist improved his time to 12:40. Cavendar beat his previous record by 30 seconds and finished in 12:50.
Anthony Kovic finished in 12:51. Elverum, a first-year cross country runner, set his first cross country meet time at 14:14.
South Whidbey travels to Yakima for the Sunfair Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.