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Falcon runners tops in triangular
"Senior Mike Johnson sprints over a hill early in Thursday's race.Matt Johnson / staff photoFalcon cross countryBoys team scores: S. Whidbey 17, Lynden Christian 53, Nooksack 66Individual results: 1. Bruce Hymas 16:56, 2. Brett Perkins 16:56, 3. Braden Giswold 16:56, 5. Brandon Bilyeu 17:59, 6. Joe Candelario 18:04, 8. Andy Wills 18:26, 9. James Sundquist 18:36, 12. Brandon Turner 19:09, 14. Mike Johnson 19:36, 16. Ryan Aragon 19:39, 17. Hart Boyd 19:57, 18. Nathan Chambers 20:12, 21. Scott Perkins 20:29, 27. Phil Schorr 21:32, 29. Jason Jerome 22:40Girls team scores: S. Whidbey 21, Nooksack 34 Individual results: 1. 1. Jackie Lewis (Nooksack) 21:12, 2. Sarah DeGraff 21:24, 3. Julie Gabelein 21:54, 4. Karen Schwager 22:28, 5. Malaena Hymas 22:44, 7. Courtney Hatt 23:30, 13. Kerry Mann 26:49, 14. Anna Merrill 26:50Four weeks into their season, the runners on South Whidbey's boys and girls cross country teams are tired, sore and, on some days, limping a bit.But you couldn't tell on Thursday.Running in their second and final home meet of the year, the Falcons were almost perfect in a North Cascades Conference triangular, nearly shutting out visitors Lynden Christian and Nooksack Valley. The boys team lived up to their number-one state ranking, tying up seven of the top 10 finishes in the race to tally 17 total points. The best score possible in cross country is 15 points. The team's three Killer Bs, seniors Bruce Hymas, Brett Perkins, and Braden Giswold, headed the Falcon onslaught. They broke away early and ran the entire 5,000-meter race as a trio, even to the finish line. Hymas edged his teammates by a toe as all three finished with a time of 16:56.Brandon Bilyeu was the fourth South Whidbey finisher, crossing the line a minute behind the senior trio in fifth place. Not far behind him, junior Joe Candelario and sophomore Andy Wills ignored recent injuries to grab the sixth and eighth spots.In the girls race, senior Sarah DeGraff led the team for the first time in her two-season career. Senior Lisa Depender, the team's usual top finisher, dropped out of the race early after suffering an asthma attack, leaving DeGraff to pull the team along. She did just that, running just one second slower than she did at last week's South Whidbey Invitational to place second. Julie Gabelein and Karen Schwager also ran solid times, earning third and fourth place finishes. Further back, Malaena Hymas fought shin splints to finish fifth, while an injured Courtney Hatt ran through her pain to round out the team's scoring in seventh place.On Friday, the Falcons travel to Yakima for the annual Sunfair Invitational, largest and most prestigious high school cross country meet in the Northwest. The girls team was still ranked number-five in a statewide cross country coaches poll as of last week. "