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Falcon cross country girls win division at Invite
LANGLEY — Chantal White led the Falcons girls cross country team to a first-place finish at the South Whidbey Invite.
White, a senior at South Whidbey High School, finished fifth in the Division II varsity race for the girls. Her final time was 21 minutes,
20.54 seconds — .03 seconds behind her 2009 time.
“She only knows one way to run, and that’s all out,” said Doug Fulton, South Whidbey’s cross country head coach.
Fulton said White struggled with blisters on both heels from wearing new racing spikes for the first time. White was unable to practice Monday due to the blisters.
“She gives it everything every time out,” Fulton said. “She’s a gutsy runner.”
Emily Martin, also a senior, finished eighth for the Falcons. Sophomore runners Nora Felt, Lillianna Stelling and Anna Hood placed 18th, 21st and 35th, respectively. Felt improved her time by 40 seconds from last year’s race. Jessica Cary, a junior, placed 31st.
A total of 77 runners competed in the division race.
“The sophomores continue to follow in the footsteps of the upperclassmen,” Fulton said.
The six varsity runners gave South Whidbey the lowest team score of 60. Seven varsity runners are allowed to race for points.
“Overall, they were very happy,” Fulton said.
Mount Baker, Cedar Park Christian, King’s and Ellensburg rounded out the top five Division II girls teams.
The boys team did not receive points because no runners entered the Division II varsity race. Fulton chose to withhold two varsity boys runners as a disciplinary measure because they missed practices.
A fourth runner could not participate because he did not have 10 practices yet; Cascade Conference requires athletes to have 10 practices before they can compete in a conference event.
Senior runner and team captain Ben Saari planned to race, but was ill and opted out. Saari awoke with a sore throat, and chose to sit out the race.
“I had a really sore throat and then coughed up some blood,” Saari explained. “It was frustrating.”
He still came to help out, but it actually added to his frustration.
“It wasn’t too bad at first. But then you start watching races and you want to go,” Saari said. “I think I could’ve done pretty well, even being sick.”
Saari has missed two meets since the Falcons raced at a league meet at Lakewood High School.
Ballard, King’s, Anacortes, the Northwest School and Blaine were the top five schools in the Division II varsity boys race.
Maddie Meyers from the Northwest School in Seattle won the Division I race for the girls. Glacier Peak, Eisenhower, Lakewood, Stanwood and Henry M. Jackson were the top five girls Division I teams.
Angelo Comeaux of Everett High School won the boys race.
Comeaux, a senior, finished in 15 minutes, 59.81 seconds. He beat the favored runners from Eisenhower High School on the last 100 meters who finished second and third. Eisenhower finished in first place as a boys team and is a nationally ranked cross country team this year (Harrier Magazine lists Eisenhower at number 22 in the country).
Henry M. Jackson, Bellingham, Ellensburg and Everett high schools finished as the top five teams in Division I.