Medical Lake got a landmark cross country victory last Tuesday that sets the Cardinals up to claim a potential first-ever league cross country championship.
With boys’ runners claiming five of the top seven finishes, the Cards edged Lakeside 23-32 at Sontag Park in Nine Mile. The ML girls, meanwhile, saw Eagle runners claim four of the top seven finishes losing 20-39.
“We ran really well, actually,” head coach Gene Blankenship said. “The kids just went out and ran hard.”
Junior Micah Dingfield finished the 3-mile course in a time of 16 minutes, 3 seconds, just three seconds behind individual winner Ryan Coffman’s 16.00. Domenic Rehm’s 16:05 was third. Lakeside’s JT Lauderdale was fourth at 16:07 followed by the Cards’ Jacob Dingfield (16:22), Tim Chernishoff(16:57) and Noah Kroeze (17:04).
“The Lakeside kids, Lauderdale and Coffman tried to stay up; it cost Lauderdale but it didn’t cost Coffman,” Blankenship said. “Micah could have reached out and touched him, so could Domenic.”
The margin of Coffman’s victory was “a couple of steps,” Blankenship explained.
“All in all we ran really good on the varsity level; we ran well on the JV level as well,” Blankenship said.
In the absence of the ailing and sidelined Sakaiya McCoy, who has been nursing a pulled muscle, Maleeka Wegner paced the girls, finishing third with a 20:41 and behind Lakeside’s Jessica Ircink (19:32) and Chelsea Tremblay (20:35).
Kaylin Sattler was sixth at 21:06 and Mariah Pena seventh in 21:16.
After hosting Chewelah this past Tuesday, the Cardinals will look forward to their final league meet, next Tuesday, Oct. 22 versus Kettle Falls and Riverside at Bear Lake.
It will be Medical Lake’s shot at what Blankenship said could be the Cardinals first regular season league championship in a long time. “I’m not sure but I don’t think they ever won a league title in cross country,” Blankenship said. The Cards did win the 1987 Northeast A League championship.
Looking ahead past league competition and onto districts, Blankenship has held McCoy out of recent competition while she tries to get healthy.
“If she’s able to run we’re going to run her at districts, no matter what,” Blankenship said. “Whether she runs in another race this year or couldn’t even train, we’re going to put her in there.”
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.