South Whidbey’s cross country teams placed high in their only home meet of the regular season, the South Whidbey Invitational.
The Falcon girls claimed first place in the Division 2 race with seven other small schools. South Whidbey’s boys boasted a second-place team finish out of 14 schools and the first-place runner, sophomore Cole Zink, in Division 2.
Seniors led the way for South Whidbey. Lillianna Stelling finished second in the small school division with a time of 20:11.24 in the Falcons’ first 5-kilometer race of the year. She was followed closely by fellow senior Bonnie Klamm, who finished seventh in 21:04.44. Nora Felt was the 12th-place finisher in 21:36.98, and Anna Hood ran the 5,000-meter course in 23:27.31, both posed their fastest times since last October.
Freshman Mallorie Mitchem was the 10th-place runner and finished in 21:29.88. Sophomore Emma Lungren ended her run in 22:48.6, 33 seconds slower than her final race last year. All the Falcon girls finished in the top 25 out of a field of 53 runners.
The Falcon girls won the team title with a total time of 1:47:11.14.
South Whidbey’s boys were led by underclassmen. Zink gave the Falcons a big boost with his time of 17:17.5, his personal best 5-kilometer time by 17 seconds. Junior runner Gavin Imes finished in 18:56.99. The lone Falcon senior boy, Jhamil Bader-Jarvis, crossed the finish in 19:06.31.
Sophomores Truman Hood and Anders Bergquist were packed together as the 45th and 47th-place finishers. Hood ran his second-fastest career time of 19:45.16 and Bergquist posted a drop in his 5K times from last year at 19:53.61.
Evan Mellish, a freshman, and Anthony Kovic, a sophomore, rounded out the Falcons varsity runners. Mellish finished in 20:09.49 in his first 5K, and Kovic ran a 20:28, his second-fastest 5K time.
The South Whidbey Invitational cross country meet draws teams from across Washington. South Whidbey was the site of the District 1 meet for several years, which was an incentive for teams to visit the course prior to the state-qualifying race. Other highlights from the invite were: Patrick Gibson, a senior from Squalicum had the best overall time of 15:46.78. Gibson won the Division 1 boys race. Jackson High School (Everett) won the Division 1 boys team award, barely edging out Kamiak’s total time by 10 seconds.
Spencer Stewart, a freshman from Eisenhower (Yakima) won the junior varsity boys race in 17:08.9. King’s won the Division 2 boys title with a total time of 1:31:31.66; South Whidbey’s total time was 1:34:59.57.
Mikayla Pivec of Lynnwood, a freshman, won the Division 2 girls in 19:53.05.
Sally Larson, a senior from Cedar Park Christian School, won the Division 1 race in 18:29.22. Sehome High School won the Division 1 girls race.