"Falcons boy runners second, girls third at South Whidbey CC Invite"

"Running together about a mile into the race are, from the left, Falcons Karen Schwager, Julie Gabelein and Sarah Degraaf.Jim Larsen/ staff photosSouth Whidbey Invitational, Team ScoresBOYS: Jackson 57, South Whidbey 76, Mount Vernon 79, Stanwood 85, Everett 89, Eastlake 185, Cascade 199, Edmonds-Woodway 202, Arlington 238, Anacortes 305, Elma 322, Lake Stevens 323, King's 329.GIRLS: Stanwood 81, Eastlake 96, South Whidbey 104, Edmonds-Woodway 115, Arlington 161, Cascade 174, Steilacoom 195, Lake Stevens 214, King's 221, Elma 229, Mount Vernon 231, Monroe 247, Anacortes 295.Braden Giswold did on Saturday what no Falcon boy runner has done before -- he won the South Whidbey Invitational Cross Country meet.The meet features more than 100 of the best runners in the region, and attracts schools much larger than South Whidbey. So, in the past, some other runner always crossed the finish line first.But not this time. Giswold, a senior, capped his home running career by finishing Saturday's race in 16 minutes, 7 seconds. The course is over three miles long and Giswold averaged 5:11 per mile.Three seconds behind in second place was Jon Skelton of Mount Vernon, who had led most of the way, until Giswold out-legged him the last few hundred yards.He ran a really smart race, said South Whidbey's coach, Tim Gordon. He followed the strategy. He was following late, but I knew he'd win. Braden's got some pretty good closing speed.Giswold wasn't the only South Whidbey story in the boys race. Brett Perkins and Bruce Hymas finished 5th and 6th, respectively, in times of 16:28 and 16:30.Three in the top six is outstanding, said Gordon.Rounding out the scoring for South Whidbey were Brandon Bilyeu, 44th overall in 17:59, and Brandon Turner, 60th, in 18:24.Although Jackson High School's top runner finished 7th, they grouped together enough to take the overall team championship, with South Whidbey second.Jackson's total team time for its top five runners was 1:25:32 while South Whidbey was only four seconds behind at 1:25:28.In JV boys competition, South Whidbey's James Sundquist was the first place winner among 169 runners, in 18:10. Coach Gordon said the excellent showing will move the frosh standout up to the varsity team.Falcon girls take thirdSouth Whidbey's varsity girls also enjoyed a good day at the Invitational, finishing third among 13 teams.Senior Lisa Depender paced the Falcons by finishing 10th in 20 minutes, 57 seconds. First place went to Susannah Shaw of Eastlake in 19:07.Joining the scoring for South Whidbey were Sarah Degraff, 14th, 21:23; Julie Gabelein, 25th, 21:56; Malaena Hymas, 31st, 22:16; and Kirsten Smethurst, 48th, 22:56. Not far behind was Megan Kelly, 55th, in 23:31. Eighty-nine runners finished the race.Stanwood was the first place team, followed by Eastlake. In girls junior varsity competition South Whidbey didn't finish the requisite five runners to achieve a team score. The first Falcon across the line was Courtney Hatt in 23:36, good for 5th place. The winner was Elizabeth Jordan of Stanwood in 23:03. "

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