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Falcon boy runners are second in state
"Bruce Hymas (center) has a word with Brett Perkins as, along with Braden Giswold (right) they accept their team trophy for second place.Matt Johnson / staff photosFalcon boys cross countryWIAA State Championships -- 3.1 milesTeam scores:East Valley Yakima 113, South Whidbey 113, Naches 118, Lakewood, Elma 141 (16 teams total)Individual results:1. Matt Owens (E. Valley) 16:25, 2. Braden Giswold 16: 36; 4. Bruce Hymas 16:43, 12. Brett Perkins 17:09, 49. James Sundquist 17:51, 82. Andy Wills 18:20, 115. Jasper Hein 19:05, 121. Brandon Bilyeu 19:15 (139 total runners) Seven South Whidbey High School boys ran their way into the history books last weekend.Taken together, Braden Giswold, Bruce Hymas, Brett Perkins, James Sundquist, Andy Wills, Jasper Hein, and Brandon Bilyeu are the best boys cross country team to ever run a state meet for their school. Period. And Giswold and Hymas are the two best runners in school history after placing second and fourth in the 3.1 mile race at Pasco's Sun Willows Golf Course Saturday.They are also a statistical anomaly. The septet tied East Valley Yakima for the team cross country title at the state meet, but were relegated to runner-up status based on a sixth-runner tie breaker. The tie was the Falcons' third in three meets and was the third team championship they lost on a tiebreaker. They tied Lakewood at both the North Cascades Conference Championships and at the Northwest 2A Bi-District Championships during the past two weeks. According to state cross country officials at the meet, no other cross country team has ever done this.Understandably, the team's coach, Tim Gordon, hardly knew whether to react with excitement or deja-vu hysterics when his team's placing was announced after the race.The tie was a nice way to end the season. It proves that the cosmos has a sense of humor, Gordon said.Gordon did eventually choose excitement, with good reason. On a wind-blown, dust-ravaged and tumbleweed-strewn course, the Falcons were at their best. Going into the race as one of the favorites for the individual title, senior Braden Giswold battled both the wind and East Valley's Matt Owens in a step-by-step battle for first. In the end, it was Owens who had the power to pull away for a 9-second win, but Giswold -- who was chased by both East Valley's Brett Murphy and Bruce Hymas -- was glad to place where he did. I'm happy with my place. But I did want first, Giswold said.Hymas, who during the past four seasons has typically been the Falcons' number three runner, was fourth behind Giswold. The senior member of the Falcon trio of Killer Bs said he had the race of his life.I had the best race ever, Hymas said. Adding star power to the Falcons' race day was senior Brett Perkins. He placed 12th after winning a sprint finish in a group of six bunched runners. After the race, Perkins was ready for more.It doesn't feel like the season's over for me, Perkins said.Making the event even more storied for future generations of Falcon runners was freshman James Sundquist. Sundquist's 17:51 race was the fastest among all freshmen in the 2A and 3A races. His 49th-place finish also kept the Falcons in the running for the state title. Behind him, sophomore cross country rookie Andy Wills finished as the team's number five. Wills ran the state course in 18:20 for 82nd place.Also running for the Falcons were Jasper Hein and Brandon Bilyeu. The two sophomores finished 115th and 121st.The team's placing was the best ever by any boys team at South Whidbey or Langley high schools. Prior to Saturday, the best boys team performance was third place in 1979. In addition, Giswold and Hymas are now ranked as the two highest state finishers ever for the Falcons. "