Cheney Free Press -



Blackhawk runners down Pullman for first league wins


Cheney’s cross country teams broke into the Great Northern League win column with victories Oct. 1 in Pullman. The girls sprinted past the Greyhounds 23-42 while the boys earned the top three spots and placed all seven runners in the top 10 for a 17-46 win.

Mariah Brenton led the girls with a time of 21 minutes, 39 seconds, followed by Johanna Sherman in 21:49, Kelsey Schwendiman in 23:01, Mattie McNair 23:14 and Claire Lunde 23:19 for Cheney’s scoring five. Karlie Eaker finished in 24:55 and Linsay Sweitzer in 25:21 to wrap up the girls varsity.

Kyle Lerch, Steaven Zachman and Kameron Galm went 1-2-3 for the boys, Lerch topping all runners in 17:39, followed by Zachman at 17:43 and Galm at 18:02. Nick Steele finished in 18:28, followed by Mason Van Stone in 18:38, Carson Kerr at 19:41 and Dallin Olson in 19:22 as Cheney captured the 5-8 slots as well.

Saturday the Blackhawk boys notched another first, winning the 1B-2A classifications at the Sunfair Invitational at Yakima’s Franklin Park. The invitational was run in seven flights according each team’s runner’s standing, i.e. the first flight being for the No. 7 runner and so on.

Zachman was the only Cheney runner to make the medals stand, placing 15th overall in the No. 2 runner flight in a time of 16:17 on the three-mile course. Lerch was 19th in the No. 1 runner flight in 16:13, Galm 21st in the No. 3 runner in 17:00, Steele 17th in No. 4 at 17:09 and Van Stone 27th in No. 5 at 17:52. Kerr was 25th in No. 6 in 17:51 and Olson 20th in No. 7 at 17:59 as all seven runners places counted in the final scoring, giving Cheney 131 points, seven ahead of second-place West Valley-Yakima.

“They went down there with a purpose and things went really well,” head coach Jay Martin said of the boys finish out of 15 teams in their classification.

Cheney’s girls brought home a ninth-place finish in the same classification, finishing with 189 points, two ahead of Anacortes and six back of La Center, with Lakeside taking top honors with 77 points. Brenton had the highest overall placing for the girls, 28th in the No. 1 runner flight in 20:30, followed by Schwendiman at 21:24, 79th No. 2, McNair 21:32, 73rd No. 3, Alexis Brooks 24:47, 89th No.4, Shannen Gladden 22:36, 77th No. 5, Eaker 22:31, 80th No. 6 and Sweitzer 22:46, 75th No.7.

The Blackhawks have a light week this week with no league meets scheduled, the only competition taking place Saturday at the Richland Invitational. That will give Martin’s runners a chance to overcome some nagging seasonal colds, but are otherwise pretty healthy as a team.

Martin said the runners 1-5 gaps are beginning to come down. The boys are on target with their progress, a sign of their experience and focus, while the girls are beginning to have that same focus come into view.

“They’re young and they’re coming along,” Martin said.

John McCallum can be reached at


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