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Attack at Yak brings trophy back

Junior Holton Schmidt runs near the front at the recent South  Whidbey Invitational. At Saturday’s Sunfair Invitational in  Yakima, he ran a sub-18-minute race to help his team claim first place. - Cynthia Woolbright
Junior Holton Schmidt runs near the front at the recent South Whidbey Invitational. At Saturday’s Sunfair Invitational in Yakima, he ran a sub-18-minute race to help his team claim first place.
— image credit: Cynthia Woolbright

It was too hot in Yakima on Saturday.

Not everybody was healthy.

The competition was too fast.

Though all of these would have been been legitimate gripes for the Falcon boys and girls cross country teams at the Sunfair Invitational in Yakima Saturday, they didn’t use them — either as complaints or excuses. Though they described the situation accurately, they had little impact on a group of runners that loves to win.

While still mending from injuries sustained in the first half of the season, the Falcon boys brought home a first-place trophy from the meet as they beat the other three best 2A cross country teams in the state — Riverside, Cashmere and Chelan — to win their division in the multiple-heat format meet. Eisenhower was the overall team champion.

And for the girls, the day at the races was fairly successful, despite some key shortages in their lineup. Even with the team’s top runner, Callie Supsinkas, out with an injury and suffering a loss of points when junior Becky Gabelein dropped out of her race due to the heat, the South Whidbey girls placed third among 2A schools.

“It’s nice to not be at your best and still win,” said Falcon head coach Doug Fulton of his teams’ performances.

On the whole, the Sunfair Invitational was about the toughest meet thus far this season for the Falcons. Racing shoulder-to-shoulder with runners from 4A Eisenhower and 3A Jackson — the two top cross country programs in the state — the South Whidbey boys not only had to fight 85-degree heat in the Yakima valley, but the surges of blistering-fast packs. Both the boys and girls competitions were split between seven races, with one runner from each school racing in each. For the boys, senior James Sundquist again led his team, taking 18th place in the second-fastest race of the day. Also having strong races on the day were sophomore JD Peters, junior Holton Schmidt and sophomore Chris dePender, who managed a sub-18 minute race on the 3-mile invitational course.

Schmidt said even though he and his team members did not feel at their physical peaks, they had the grit to compete.

“We had the right frame of mind,” he said.

For the girls, sophomore Mary Bakeman was the team leader, placing 21st in the second-fastest girls race. Also a bright spot for the team was sophomore Britta Madison, who was a solid 19th place in 22:34 in her race. After the race, the Falcons won recognition for their running. The boys are now ranked as the top team in the state 2A division, while the girls are ranked fourth.

Falcon cross country

Sunfair Invitational

Boys

Teams: 1. Eisenhower 9, 2. Jackson 33, 3. W. Valley-Yakima 35, 25. South Whidbey 207

Individuals: Flight 7 — 1. Robbie Barany (Eisenhower) 15:34; Flight 6 — 1. Jeff Helmer (Jackson) 15.30, 18. James Sundquist (SW) 16:50; Flight 5 — 1. Jesus Chavez (Eisenhower) 16:10, 24. J.D Peters (SW) 17:26; Flight 4 — 1. Victor Dominguez (Eisenhower) 16:38, 27. Holton Schmidt (SW) 17:34; Flight 3 — 1. Kevin Blount (Eisenhower) 16:28, 39. Jeff Strong (SW)18:25; Flight 2 — 1. Victor Palma (Eisenhower 16:43, 15. Chris dePender (SW) 17:57; Flight 1 — 1. Joey Davin (Mt. Spokane) 16:52, 24. Jason Fitz (SW) 18:13

Girls

Teams: 1. Snohomish 22, 2. Kamiakin 25, 3. Thomas Jefferson 57, 31. South Whidbey 233

Individuals: Flight 7 — 1. Anita Campbell (Aldergrove) 17:59; Flight 6 — 1. Becca Noble (Rogers) 19:11, 21. Mary Bakeman (SW) 20:57; Flight 5 — 1. Kris Jensen (Kamiakin) 19:37, 25. Nancy Godsey (SW) 21:39; Flight 4 — 1. Ashley Meyer (Snohomish) 19:30, 27. Katy Gordon (SW) 22:15; Flight 3 — 1. Kelly Turner (Kamiakin) 19:46; Flight 2 — 1. Kim Holland (Snohomish) 20:06, 38. Melissa Mydnski (SW) 24:09; Flight 1 — 1. Katy Hawkins (University) 20:38, 19. Britta Madison (SW) 22:34

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