Cheney’s cross country teams notched two more wins in Great Northern League dual meet action last week, and are beginning to look ahead now to post season competition.
Tuesday at Colville the boys ran to wins over the host Indians, 22-39, and West Valley, 23-35 – scores head coach Jay Martin said weren’t indicative of how close the race actually was. The girls’ competition wasn’t quite as tight, with Cheney coming out on top of Colville 16-44 and West Valley 19-40.
Sanne Holland led the Cheney girls, finishing first with a time of 19 minutes, 53 seconds. Mariah Brenton, Johanna Sherman and Anika Kuula went 3-4-5 for the Blackhawks with times of 21:23, 22:11 and 22:18 with Mattie McNair completing the varsity scoring with a seventh-place finish in 22:54. Freshman Karli Eaker was 11th in 24:16 and Justine Hetrick was 19th in 26:09.
For the boys it was Kyle Lerch finishing in second with a time of 17:05, 10 seconds back of Colville’s Kevin Carpenter. Corey Klotz-Brooks was third in 17:19, Nick Steele sixth at 17:49, Steaven Zachman ninth in 18:13 and Kameron Galm 10th in 18:15 to round out Cheney’s scoring five. Jesse Hallstrom was 11th in 18:16 and Andrew Horton was 13th in 18:19 to wrap up the Blackhawks’ finishes in a race that had a gap of 3:42 between the first and last runners in the 21-competitor varsity field.
Saturday the Blackhawks traveled to Carmichael Middle School’s playfield in West Richland for the 68-team Richland Invitational. Martin said neither team scored very high overall, mainly because they chose to run in the larger school – 3A and 4A – races.
“We did that purposely to challenge ourselves and run against that bigger competition,” Martin said. “Our goal was to have that serious competition and we got it.”
Brenton had the highest finish in the 3-mile Division 1 girls’ race, placing 44th overall in 20:36.35. Kuula was 60th in 21:08.41, Sherman 75th in 21:22.47, McNair 97th in 22:09.83, Kate Nelson 109th in 22:39.47, Vanessa Fricker 117th in 23:15.54 and Eaker 120th in 24:47.28.
In boys’ 3-mile Division 1 Klotz-Brooks was 56th in 16:35.76, Steele 84th in 17:09.68, Zachman 98th in 17:22.85, Galm 108th in 17:33.53, Erick Erickson 119th in 17:45.63, Andrew Horton 135th in 17:58.30 and Joe Hatziniholis 154th in 19:04.42.
Both teams stand at 4-1 in league competition, second behind Deer Park, and have one remaining GNL meet before districts, traveling to Clarkston Wednesday, Oct. 10 to face the Bantams. Overall the team is in relatively good health, Martin said, with the usual aches and pains; the lone exception being Lerch, who is dealing with shin splints as a result of all the mileage the junior has put in not only this season but over the summer in preparation.
“We’re not happy about it this time of year,” Martin said, noting Lerch ran over 400 miles this summer and adding they’re resting him for the next several days.
The District 7 meet takes place Friday, Oct. 19 at Plantes Ferry State Park in Spokane Valley, with the 2A girls at noon and boys at 12:45 p.m. Because of classification numbers statewide among 2A schools, and the number of boys’ vs. girls’ cross country programs, the top two girls’ teams at districts will qualify for the state meet Nov. 3 in Pasco, while the top-two boys’ teams will face the top-four Central Washington Athletic Conference teams in a regional meet, Oct. 26, with the top four from that meet advancing to Pasco.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.