SVSJ preview: CHS cross country, in revamped Cascade, aims for excellence once again this fall

EDITOR’S NOTE: We continue our series of fall high school sports previews this morning with a look at Cedarcrest High School cross country, which aims to remain as one of the top programs in the state at the 2A level in high school cross country. 

The Cedarcrest High School cross country program is back for what looks to be ather strong season in the Cascade Conference.

Longtime head coach Bruce McDowell returns for his 23rd season at the helm of the Red Wolve program, and the boys and girls both look solid after both teams made state in 2015. On the boys’ side, top returners include seniors Ian Fay and Chase Bolin, along with juniors Ben Benson and Grant Van Valkenburg. “Ian has been our top runner for two previous seasons. Looking to make the podium at State. Grant (is) looking to build upon his sophomore T&F season where he was state 3200m qualifier. The others will look to give us a top notch varsity squad,” McDowell wrote by email to the SVSJ.

As for the girls, seniors Madi Shinn and Lily Krueger lead the returning group, joined by juniors Alicia Krivanek (who finished in the top 20 at the 2A state meet last fall in Pasco), Kate Vergillo and Mary Cate Babcock. Freshman Elsie Dombek from the girls’ squad and sophomore Ryan LaTurner from the boys’ squad could be top young runners to watch this fall as well for CHS.

A factor this fall for the Red Wolves as they look to maintain their hold as the top squad in the Cascade and one of the top squads in the Northwest District is the changes in postseason that resulted from former league rival Lakewood’s somewhat surprising departure from the conference to the Northwest Conference this summer after WIAA reclassification last fall. “The departure of Lakewood will certainly diminish the strength of the conference in cross country as historically Lakewood has been one of the top 3 programs in our sport,” McDowell wrote.

The coach added, “(It) will certainly make it an easier path to trying to win the Conference Championships. But they are in our district still so they will still have an impact on the District meet and our ability to qualify for state. In cross country, all teams qualify for districts, but we are limited to naming 9 runners to the district squad where 7 of the 9 run. One more thing: for districts, we are heavily impacted by Mountlake Terrace, Liberty and Sammamish joining our district meet.” Mountlake Terrace replaces Shorecrest as the 2A Wesco representative this year, while Liberty and Sammamish are both of the Kingco 2A/3A conference.

McDowell expects both the Red Wolve boys and girls to win the conference crown, and we anticipate the chief opposition for them to be from Archbishop Murphy and King’s in the league this fall.

The season starts for Cedarcrest on Wednesday, September 7, with the conference preview meet in Arlington. The rest of September into October has all meets on Saturdays, with their two annual trips to Yakima – for the Apple Ridge Invite (on September 17) and the Sunfair Invite (on October 1) – on the schedule this season. The Red Wolves’ lone home meet this fall is a biggie, as they are hosting the Cascade Conference championship meet on October 20 at Blue Heron Golf Course in Carnation. The league meets prior to that, though, will be away, with South Whidbey hosting the Red Wolves on October 6, and King’s getting those honors for a meet October 13. All meets are afternoon meets; consult Cedarcrest High School’s cross country webpage, which can be accessed through the school’s home page that is linked at right in our news links, for times and locations.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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