Medical Lake’s boys’ cross country likes the view from the top and the challenge it appears to present.
The state’s No. 1 ranked 1A team scored an impressive runner-up finish at last Saturday’s Curtis Invite in Tacoma, a feat that followed their first Northeast A League wins Tuesday in Newport.
Medical Lake’s boys beat both Freeman and Newport by identical 15-50 scores while the girls beat Newport 15-50 but fell to Freeman 27-28.
At Tacoma, the Cardinals got a sixth place finish and key points from junior Micah Dingfield who clocked a time of 16 minutes, 14.67 seconds. Domenic Rehm logged a 16:15.98 as the two finished behind Bellevue’s Kyle Pratt who led across the line in the 5,000 meter race with a time of 15:49.77.
As a team, the Cardinals were topped by 3A Bellarmine Prep 103-165. Kentridge, a 4A school, was third at 193.
Medical Lake’s girls were 10th with 299 points, well back of girls’ champ Bellarmine’s 50. Kaylin Sattler clocked a 20:30.25 and finished 37th individually while Maleeka Wegner’s 20:57.25 placed her 51st.
“Yeah, we had a good day,” head coach Gene Blankenship said.
The strong finish came after a brutal start. “In the varsity boys we had a terrible start, we got buried,” Blankenship explained. “We were making up ground the entire race.”
And one runner was just trying to survive. Sophomore Jacob Dingfield not only fell and caught himself but when he picked himself back up somebody came and pushed him over again, Blankenship said. “We still made up pretty good ground.”
Everybody on varsity PR’d except for Micah Dingfield. Medical Lake ran 44 kids in both varsity and junior varsity races and 36 of them ran their best race ever.
“We didn’t have anyone run towards the front but again, major PRs,” Blankenship said. The Cards ran without No. 1 girls’ competitor Sakaiya McCoy, still nursing a pulled muscle, and will likely do so in their league meet this past Tuesday at Lakeside.
In their league opening meet, the boys took the top seven spots led by Micah Dingfield’s 17:10, just ahead of brother Jacob’s 17:19. Tim Chernishoff was third at 17:41 and Noah Kroeze fourth in a time of 17:54.
“The boys just ran the first controlled mile – they were supposed to run 5 minutes, 35 seconds – they went through in 5:36; six of them were right together,” Blankenship said.
Of note was Matthew Peterson who turned his ankle coming down a hill but recovered enough to finish fifth at 18:22.
“We did not race Domenic (Rehm) Tuesday,” Blankenship said. “He had a hip flexor so we just decided we’d rest him.”
The girl’s finished a little disappointing as they lost by a point but McCoy “Was really hurting she finished 12 for us – and we lost by one point 27-28,” Blankenship said.
“We had 13 girls run the 5,000 meters and nine of them PR’d,” Blankenship said. “So you can’t have any problems with that.”
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.