SVSJ preview: Mount Si cross country looks to shine, and top returners’ performance in recent local race could spell big things ahead

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth of our team previews for Mount Si High School fall sports for 2012-13. Today, cross country.

Mount Si’s cross country program looks to maintain a continued strong presence in Kingco 3A this season, and considering what some of their top returners did at the recent Snoqualmie Days road race put on by local running promoter – and assistant Wildcat track coach – Sean Sundwall , this season could be a special one for some of the competitors.

Back to coach this season for the Wildcats is longtime coach Christine Kjenner, who will be entering her 27th season as coach of the cross country program, either as a head coach or as an assistant. Kjenner is looking forward to the season ahead. “I think they’re going to see just some real consistent, strong running from both the boys and the girls. I think both teams are looking to qualify to the district meet as a team,” she said.

The top boys’ returners this season are athletes who fared well at the recent Snoqualmie race. Senior Tim Corrie was one of a couple who ran the full 10k race, and he had a solid finish, taking 33rd overall out of over 200 runners in the race, clocking 36:53, and fellow senior Dominick Canady, who was among a majority of the Mount Si runners who ran the shorter 5k race, and took eighth overall in a race won by Sundwall. The program’s top newcomer is on the boys’ side, as senior Preston Banks joins Mount Si this season. Banks, said Kjenner, ”looks very promising,” so look for him to hopefully try to fill a big void on that team left with the graduation losses of top runners Rich Carmichael and Ben Houldridge, both of whom are running collegiately this fall.

As for the girls, their top returners all are back this season. Juniors Bailey Scott and Abbey Bottemiller anchor the girls’ unit, with sophomore Angelina Belceto looking to join that top group after a stellar freshman season in 2011 which saw her develop into one of the top young runners in the conference. Scott comes into this season off a very strong showing at Snoqualmie Days in the women’s 5k, where she finished fourth overall – and tops among all Valley ladies in the race – with a time of 22:31. She realizes the benefits of competing, and succeeding, against the high level adult competition from around the region she faced in the race. “Most of all, especially running against people of that caliber, it’s exciting to see yourself do so well. It really motivates you for the rest of the season, you really want to try to push yourself and go that much further,” Scott said.

Belceto is more modest in her goals. “I’m just hoping for some good PR times, better than last year, and good team season,” she said.

The top teams in the Kingco once again are expected to be Bellevue and Mercer Island, programs which tend to draw a large number of runners to the fold. With Interlake back in 3A this season, the Saints also look to be a strong foe, as they had several excellent runners last season as a 2A opponent.

Kjenner told the SVSJ the team will be hosting two home meets in October. The course for those meets has not yet been approved, but it is not expected to be at Snoqualmie Elementary School, where the team has hosted meets in two different course configurations the past two seasons.

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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