SVSJ preview: Wildcat boys’ and girls’ cross country teams look to contend in tough Kingco 3A conference

 EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we bring you the second of our Mount Si High School fall sports team previews, with a look at cross country.

                Mount Si’s boys’ and girls’ cross country teams look to have strong seasons this fall, buoyed by experience and strong preparation.

                Returning as coaches once again this fall are Christine Kjenner and Art Galloway, and the team is expecting solid results. “Everyone’s ready to go this year. We head great training this summer, so everyone’s getting geared up, ready to go,” said senior Richard Carmichael, one of several top athletes back for another season with the boys’ program. Others to watch include junior Dominick Canady and seniors Ryan Olson and Ben Houldridge. Olson expects a great finish to the season. “I think if we all work together, the guys’ team especially, I think that our whole team could go to districts,” Olson said.

                The girls also have a solid group of returning athletes, led by sophomores Bailey Scott and Abbey Bottemiller. Both of them have a goal in mind. “I know Bailey and I would like to make it to state and place in state and I believe that we can both do it,” Bottemiller said. Before they get there, though, they have other goals in mind. “I feel like we can take on leadership positions in the team, now that we’ve been here a year and kind of understand how everything goes,” she said. Scott added, “I feel like we’re leaders now and we need to take the responsibility of leading the team and cheering everyone on.”

                Other top runners to watch on the girls’ side include senior Sally Miller and junior Christina Volken.

                The Wildcats look to be well-prepared coming into the season. Several of the team’s runners along with Kjenner participated in the Snoqualmie Days 5K and 10K races August 20. In the 5K, Carmichael finished third overall, Canady sixth and Scott a strong 55th, while in the 10k, Houldridge led a small contingent of Wildcat runners with a nice showing, finishing 50th. Teammate Tim Corrie took 59th in that race. Scott feels the races are important. “It’s good practice and just to get in shape and have fun,” she said. Kjenner echoed that sentiment. “It was a good place to find out where people’s fitness levels were,” the coach said. She added praise for her team’s 10k runners’ decision to run that race. “To me, it’s showing a commitment to the sport,” Kjenner said.  

                The top teams in the league look to be the same as always, with Bellevue, Liberty and Mercer Island leading the way. But Galloway thinks the whole league could be interesting this season. “The league has gotten stronger,” he said. “Last year, we could kind of count on those some of those other teams, we’d get the big ‘W’. Now, Interlake’s stepped it up, and the strong teams, Bellevue, Mercer Island, continue to be juggernauts. Hundreds of runners. Literally, hundreds of runners.”

                Mount Si starts its season September 7, and its first home meet is September 21. The Wildcats will have a total of two home meets (Sept. 21 and Oct. 12), and they will be held on a course which comprises the Snoqualmie Elementary School playfields and the dog park across the street from the school and Centennial Fields. The course that is used requires a crossing of Park Street, so traffic going through this area during the course of the two meets (4:00-6:00 p.m. both days) should expect delays.

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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