SVSJ preview: CHS cross country looks to remain dominant this season, and there’s a good chance that happens

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our preview series continues today with a look at Cedarcrest High School’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams, as they aim to remain the best in the Cascade Conference.

The always dominant Cedarcrest High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams reload once again this year, and look to be once again among the best in the state in the 2A high school classification.

Back for his 24th season as coach is Bruce McDowell, and he has a number of top returners on both teams. Senior boys Grant Van Valkenburg, Ben Benson, Emmett Klaiber and Daniel Murphy, along with senior girls Alicia Krivanek, Kate Vergillo, Kally Hall and Mary Cate Babcock will lead their respective teams this season. Krivanek is the defending Cascade Conference girls’ champion, while Van Valkenburg is seen by McDowell as one of the best in the state and a likely contender for the conference boys’ crown this fall. “One of the top runners in the state,” McDowell said by email to the SVSJ. “On the right day, (he) should contend for individual state title.”

Among the newcomers to watch for both teams include freshman girls Aryia Farnworth and Ellie Hegewald, and junior boys Lance Stupfel and Bryce Hefner.

McDowell likes his program’s chances once again this fall for league supremacy. He expects it with the boys, but that’s a little bit different story with the girls. King’s will certainly challenge us. Will make for a close Conference Championship meet. “King’s will certainly challenge us,” McDowell said. “Will make for a close Conference Championship meet.” He adds the Knights should also be in the mix on the boys’ side, but he also likes Granite Falls and South Whidbey this year as possible league contenders.

The goals for his squad remain the same. “Win conference (and) qualify for state,” he said. “If possible, win a state trophy. Have every athlete that starts the season finish the season.”

CHS’ schedule this year starts next Wednesday with the conference preview meet in Granite Falls, then the rest of September is all Saturday invitationals. They’ll be competing at the Tahoma Invitational next weekend, then it’s the Apple Ridge meet in Yakima on the 16th, followed by a pair of Saturdays where the team will split up and compete in multiple competitions. On the 23rd, CHS will have athletes at both the Bellevue Invitational at Lake Sammamish State Park and at a meet in Wenatchee, followed by another split on the 30th, with athletes at both the Sunfair Invite in Yakima and the Nike Twilight meet in Marysville. The conference schedule consists of two meets in October, first on the 5th at South Whidbey, then again on the 12th at King’s. The Red Wolves’ lone home meet is on the 19th, and that’s for the Cascade Conference league meet at Blue Heron Golf Course in Carnation.

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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