Sports

South Whidbey girls, Zink run away with cross country state meet berths

South Whidbey’s top boy and all of its girl runners will race one more time this year. The next 5,000-meter course they conquer will be at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco for the state 1A cross country meet.

With top-20 finishes, Lillianna Stelling and Cole Zink ran their way to state meet berths. It was a solid outing for both teams, too, as the Falcon girls finished in fourth and the boys placed seventh at the Westside Classic at American Lake Golf Course.

South Whidbey’s state-ranked girls team continued its string of top-to-bottom speed. The first five Falcon girl finishers placed in the top 40 out of a field of 134 runners.

Stelling, a senior, paced South Whidbey with an eighth-place finish. Despite running one of her slower times since setting her personal record in September, Stelling qualified for the state meet with a time of 19:48.2. Her performance at the multi-district meet extended Stelling’s streak of sub-20 minute races to four meets.

Mallorie Mitchem qualified for the state meet by her final placing. The Falcon freshman finished in 20:58.8 (26th place). Nora Felt, a senior, was close behind for 27th place in 21:03.3 and also would have advanced to the state meet as an individual, if not for her team’s automatic berth.

Bonnie Klamm posted her slowest 5K time of the season, excluding the mud pit race, the Three Course Challenge in Seaside, Ore. The senior finished in 21:42 for 38th place.

Emma Lungren was the final Falcon team-score racer at 39th place. The sophomore’s time of 21:43 was less than two seconds off her personal record.

South Whidbey’s boys relied on fast times from their underclassmen. Zink, a sophomore, charged to 18th place out of 140 racers in the 1A boys division. His time of 17:18.5 was his second meet in a row of sub-18 minute finishes.

Zink was followed by an unlikely suspect: freshman Chris Anderson, who set his personal record at 17:57.8. Since late September, Anderson has raced in the low 18s and broke the 18-minute mark for the first time at the district meet.

Falcon junior Gavin Imes finished in 18:15.3. The lone senior boy, Jhamil Bader-Jarvis, finished with his second-best time of the season in 18:25.3. Sophomore Anders Bergquist ran his fastest career 5K in 18:44.1.

South Whidbey’s other racers were senior Anna Hood (22:48.7), freshman Anna Justus (24:43.6) and sophomores Andy Zisette (18:56.8) and Truman Hood (19:24.5).

Meridian won the 1A girls team title, and Charles Wright Academy won the boys title. Cedar Park Christian senior Sally Larson was the top medalist in the 1A girls race with the field’s only sub-19 minute finish. Blaine senior Tom Bradley won the boys title.

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