South Whidbey’s cross country teams ended the regular season last week with middle-of-the-pack places.
At the Bellevue Christian School 4K Invite, South Whidbey’s boys finished eighth overall and the girls were sixth. The 4,000-meter course — the only race at that distance South Whidbey competed in this season — was added as a makeup meet for the scrapped North County Invitational.
The Falcons, however, were without some of their top racers, including senior girls Bonnie Klamm and Lillianna Stelling and sophomore boy Cole Zink.
In the final tuneup before the Cascade Conference Championship, South Whidbey’s runners hit the course hard. The girls were paced by senior Nora Felt in 13th place (17:31.63). Freshman Mallorie Mitchem was close behind in 15th place (17:39.59). Emma Lungren, a sophomore, was the third Falcon girl to finish (18:11.85).
A pair of freshmen girls seized the opportunity to run for the varsity team in the absence of Klamm and Stelling. Anna Justus had one of her best races, finishing in 19:31.30. Carson Orr also scored for the Falcons as the fifth finisher (19:36.61).
Anna Hood, a senior, finished in 19:54.98. Senior Lisa Haufler rounded out the Falcon placings in 22:41.92.
On the boys team, some of the underclassmen came up in big ways. In only his fourth varsity meet, freshman Chris Anderson continued his improvement as the first Falcon finisher in 14:45.88 for 20th place. Gavin Imes, a junior, was the second Falcon to cross the finish line in 15:04.66. Senior Jhamil Bader-Jarvis finished in 15:17.35.
Three underclassmen rounded out South Whidbey’s boys team score. Andy Zisette, a sophomore, finished in 15:25.46, Evan Mellish, a freshman, finished in 16:01.51. Sophomore Truman Hood finished in 16:22.63.
South Whidbey hosts the Cascade Conference Championship meet at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at the high school track. The course begins on the auxiliary field, winds behind the baseball field, loops around the track and through South Whidbey Community Park, before finishing back at the track.
The Falcons’ performance at the conference championship has no bearing on their seedings to the Westside Classic, a multi-district cross country meet for 1A schools. The Westside Classic, held Saturday, Oct. 27 at the American Lake Golf Course, will be the state 1A meet qualifier.