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Cougs fight like Davy Crockett
Langley Middle School runners could not have found faster competition for a season-opening meet than they did Thursday afternoon.
Kicking off the fall cross country season this week, the Cougars brought 18 teams and about 460 young runners to the Crockett Invitational at South Whidbey High School Thursday, including some of the fastest teams in the state 4A middle schools Centennial, Marysville and Valley View.
Yet, as is the case every season, the Cougars were more than up for the challenge. The seventh-grade LMS boys and girls represented themselves well, each taking second place in the team competition, while the schools eighth-grade teams dashed to fourth-place finishes on a 1.4-mile course stretching between the high school and the South Whidbey Community Park.
Bringing the Cougars their best individual finishes on the day were seventh-graders Dylan Rayner and Ian McCauley. Cruising the course with a long, loping stride, Rayner outsprinted a small lead pack in the final 500 meters of the race to win with a time of 8 minutes, 34 seconds, while McCauley dashed to third place just 12 seconds back. Their placings, plus those by teammates Ben Bennett, Andy Groves and Zach Idso, gave the team a team tally of 86 points, just behind the 76 of team champion Valley View.
The girl seventh graders from LMS did not have anyone at the front of the race, but they had a bunch of runners clustered in the top 20. Finishing between 13th and 18th place, Cayla Calderwood, Sofa Pinkens, Evgenia Lenoir and Justine Coomes were the heart of a 103-point team performance behind champion Valley View. Calderwood set the fastest time for her team, finishing in 10:13. McKenzie Walker was the final scoring runner for the Cougars in 41st.
Among the eighth-grade girls, standout runs came from twins Courtney and Cathy Bosman, who finished in 12th and 19th places, respectively, with times of 9:44 and 10:03. Also running for the team were Carissa Thomas, Caroline Habel, and Ellie Robbins.
For the eighth-grade boys, the race was split, with Scott Stallman finishing well ahead of his teammates in 11th place on a time of 8:39. Finishing 23 places and more behind him were Perry Cooley, Zach Kallal, Grant Neubauer and Chandler Thompson.
The Cougars run at home once more this season, at their district championship race on Oct. 29.