By DAVID SVIEN
Special to the News-Times
The rain stayed away, but fast times flowed down.
Placing three runners in the top seven Wednesday, the Coupeville High School boys’ cross country team defended its home turf at Fort Casey State Park, winning a six-team home meet.
Meanwhile, the Wolf girls, paced by another stellar performance from sophomore Noelle Western, pushed Mount Vernon Christian hard, with only nine points separating the two teams in the final tally.
Led by individual champ Evangeline Fikkert, the Hurricane girls finished with 23 points to Coupeville’s 32.
On the boy’s side of things, the Wolves edged MVC 39-55, though the ‘Canes did have an individual winner in Isaac Betz.
Friday Harbor (73), Orcas Island (86), and Evangel Classical (98) rounded out the team standings.
Lummi Nation also sent runners but didn’t have a full squad.
Wednesday’s meet, the lone home event for Coupeville, played out on a redesigned course covering 5,000 meters.
With retired Coupeville track guru Randy King on hand to be the official race starter, things kicked off with a big rush, as the girls and boys competed at the same time.
With the weather cooperating, and Coupeville Middle School running coach Amber Wyman stepping up to take the reins as race director, it made for a pleasant day all around.
“Great afternoon!” said CHS harrier coach Elizabeth Bitting.
“So many compliments on the beautiful course, wonderful volunteers, shout out to the middle schoolers who stepped up and helped out. Can’t wait for them to run this course next season.”
With coaching duties calling to her, Bitting needed someone to run the race, and Wyman knocked it out of the park.
“This was very hard for me to do — give control of my baby to somebody else,” Bitting said with a laugh.
“But Amber is AMAZING and did GREAT!”
Western paced the Wolf girls, finishing 5th in 24 minutes, 47.69 seconds, with teammates Ari Armstrong (14th), Aleksia Jump (15th), Erica McGrath (17th), and Reagan Callahan (18th) following her across the line.
Spear, a sophomore, topped Coupeville’s boys’ squad, claiming 4th place in 19:17.39.
Carson Field (5th), Landon Roberts (7th), Ezekiel Allen (10th), and Kenneth Jacobsen (13th) rounded out the top five Wolf male finishers.