Valley high schools both take home a little hardware at state cross country meet

It was a successful day on the cross country course yesterday for Valley high school runners, as both Mount Si and Cedarcrest came away with some hardware at the WIAA state high school cross country meet.

First, to the girls. Cedarcrest’s ladies came ready to race, and came away with the fourth place trophy. The Red Wolves scored 138 points, finishing just 20 points behind co-state champs West Valley (Spokane) and Bellingham. CHS was led by their one-two combo of Sonja Blycker and Elsie Dombek. Blycker took 30th clocking 20 minutes, 27.50 seconds on the 5k course at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, and was followed right behind by Dombek, in 31st with a time of 20:29.20. A little further back, in 44th, saw Hannah Brabec come across with a time of 21:01.20.

After Brabec, Ceclia Kiesow (49th, 21:08.50), Lauren Krause (59th, 21:17.70), Aryia Farnworth (63rd, 21:21.60) and Katelyn Wells (68th, 21:27.30) rounded it out for the Red Wolves. “So we started the season not sure if we were going to even qualify for state as we graduated four of our top five girls last year. And then we finished 4th in the state. That’s a great season by the girls,” said a pleased coach Bruce McDowell by email to the SVAJ. He further noted that with only Kiesow and Krause being lost to graduation next spring, they may aim to do this again next year. According to the longtime CHS head man, this was the third state trophy won by the girls in school history (and first since 2009), besting CHS’ boys’ two state trophies.

Meanwhile, Mount Si’s lone girls’ rep, senior Addie Kaess, had a solid run, finishing 119th in the 4A meet with a time of 20:42.70.

But Kaess and the rest of the Wildcat delegation got to see something special from a boys’ runner who frankly will graduate now as the most decorated boys’ runner in program history. Joe Waskom added one more accomplishment to that resume yesterday – that of winning the 4A boys’ state championship.

The Mount Si senior took the title in hard-fought fashion, beating runner-up Jonas Price from Eisenhower in Yakima by almost a second. Waskom came across the finish line clocking 15:16.20 to Price’s 15:17.10. As for the remaining Wildcat runners, Paul Talens took 54th, clocking 16:28.20, then Jack Thorne came across in 91st with a time of 16:45.50. Rounding it out, Spencer Sprague (110th, 16:54.80), Luke Harper (114th, 16:56 flat), Austin Gappa (116th, 16:59.50) and Tychon Preston (139th, 17:26.20) also represented the Wildcats in the race.

Meanwhile, in the 2A race, Cedarcrest’s Brennan LeBlanc took 22nd, clocking 16:43.10, followed by teammate Ryan LaTurner, who came across in 17:38.90 and finished 89th. “It wasn’t the best day for the boys but it shouldn’t diminish from the season that both of them had,” McDowell said. “In a year, Brennan has dropped his 5K p.r. (personal record) by 1:43 and improved his state meet place by a mere 122 places. Meanwhile, Ryan ran 0:36 faster this year than last year and improved his state meet place by 43 places.”

So the season has now wrapped up and while there will be changes in store next season for both teams, McDowell indicated that at least for his program, they’ll get right back to work. “Another successful season. Success does breed success,” he said. “We graduate runners and new runners replace them. Within the (CHS) team, we have built ourselves a good running culture. The kids want to run. For some, they have been training since June. Five months of running 5-6 days a week all for no more than 10 racing opportunities. That isn’t the simplest of trades. I appreciate all the offerings of “Congratulations” and “Good jobs” for the runners. They deserve it.”

The same likely will be said for Mount Si’s program under their new head coach Sean Sundwall, who now has completed his first season at the helm and has a huge void to fill on the boys’ side next fall with the loss of Waskom. The girls’ program suffered a similar huge void when Joe’s older sister Hannah graduated two years ago and that program is still working back to form following that. But under Sundwall’s leadership, the Wildcat program is expected to continue to grow and the opportunities such as they were this fall hosting meets at Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie and having the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s middle school cross country programs at Twin Falls and Chief Kanim Middle Schools as part of one of those events should only help spur on additional growth for a program that benefits from having a lot of available locations in the community for athletes to go practice and improve their skills.

College news:

GNAC Championships, Monmouth, OR: Northwest Nazarene junior Ryan Abdalla represented the Valley in yesterday’s GNAC (NCAA Division II) conference meet hosted by Western Oregon University. Abdalla, from Duvall and who went to Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell, finished neat the back of the field, clocking 28:41.4 and taking 84th out of 95 runners in the meet. Fellow Duvall athlete Ian Fay, a sophomore at Western Washington, did not compete in the race.

Northern Sun Championships, Aberdeen, SD: UMary (North Dakota) freshman Ben Benson, from Duvall and who graduated from Cedarcrest back in June, repped the Valley at this meet in the upper Midwest yesterday and took 64th overall clocking 26:29.50. UMary placed sixth overall and that should seed them advance to regionals on November 17.

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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