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Falcon girls runaway winners at home

"Even though their coach told them to save a little energy for Saturday's South Whidbey Invitational, the Falcon girls and boys cross country runners couldn't resist pushing the pace Tuesday on their home turf.Matched against three other North Cascades Conference teams on their home trails and fields, the runners knocked out some showy races and gave their coach some idea of what to expect later this season.Senior Karen Schwager earned herself and her team its first race win of the season. A middle of the pack runner until last spring's track season, Schwager broke from a crowd of Lakewood, Granite Falls and Sultan runners early in the girls varsity race, then ran alone to win the race. The victory was her first in the sport of cross country.It feels great, said Schwager.Behind Schwager, Becky Gabelein and Callie Supsinskas placed second and third. Cementing a team win for the Falcons were freshmen Nancy Godsey and Laura Hudson, who finished eighth and 10th. Missing from the lineup was junior Julie Gabelein, who was on the sidelines recovering from pneumonia.In the boys race, Joe Candelario ran one of his best races on the team's home course. The Falcon senior placed third after dueling Lakewood brothers Andy and Mark Dewey in a finish-line sprint. His finish time of 17:53 was good enough to beat Mark, but was a few ticks slower than Andy. His coach, Doug Fulton, said it was a solid run for Candelario.Joe looked very strong today, Fulton said.Behind Candelario, sophomore James Sundquist ran to seventh place, while freshman Nathan Chambers continued his rise through the varsity ranks to place ninth. Also contributing to the boys 50-point, second-place team finish behind Lakewood were Jasper Hein and Brandon Bilyeu.The Falcons run again today at home in the 22-team, 600-runner South Whidbey Invitational. Races start at 11 a.m. at Waterman Field. "

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