Sports

Harriers back with a new look

Spartan cross country captains Matt Tetlow, Molly O’Keefe (background), Emily Farrar and Ian Shiach (foreground) run through the trails around Phelps Field at practice Thursday. Both teams are ready to compete in an always tough Metro League. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Spartan cross country captains Matt Tetlow, Molly O’Keefe (background), Emily Farrar and Ian Shiach (foreground) run through the trails around Phelps Field at practice Thursday. Both teams are ready to compete in an always tough Metro League.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Along with a new coach, many freshman make up both teams.

Looking at the large group of runners and coaches working out at practice Wednesday, one wouldn’t think they’ve been affected by another coaching change.

But that’s what happened this past off-season as the Bainbridge cross country team gets ready for the 2007 season.

Last year, both teams finished fifth in the Metro League tournament, but both missed the cut at the district meet.

Only two individuals – Bevan Taylor and Emily Farrar – made it to the state meet in Pasco.

This season, they lose Taylor to the University of Montana along with Taylor Lea and Greg Nance from the boys team and Callie McKenzie and Mattie Molskness from the girls team.

Several other runners have also moved onto other activities or sports.

But Farrar is back along with several other returners and many newcomers to the team, which excites her.

“That’s how you build (a program),” she said. “You don’t build a (program like) Seattle Prep in a summer. You build a Seattle Prep over five, six years.”

With the newcomers on both sides, they also welcome a new coach – sort of.

Anne Howard-Lindquist, who was the assistant coach for the past two seasons, takes over for departed head coach Dean Tarbill, who left for personal and family reasons.

“I didn’t have the time necessary to devote to the program,” he said in an interview back in June. “The program demands someone who can devote more time to it.

“I think she’ll do an excellent job.”

Howard-Lindquist, who is taking her first head coaching job ever, said she’s excited to get things going.

To that extent, she’s been on the beaten path asking kids to try out for the team this summer.

Her actions have gotten results as 55 kids are on the roster for this season with 22 girls and 32 boys spread out over both sides.

There are a few upperclassmen, but sophomores and freshman make up the bulk of the roster.

Many say they’ve had a lot of fun with Howard-Lindquist and the different approach she brings to everything.

“We didn’t do as much distance (running at practice) last year,” Annie Taylor said. “But we’re doing a lot more, so we’ll have a stronger team.

“She’s also gotten more people into it, so we have a lot more (runners,)” she continued.

Annie said Howard-Lindquist also mixes in some fun with work so people get to know each other better.

That’s helped newcomers like Rebecca Sharar, who said it was easy to make friends.

“They’ve been just really nice and welcoming,” Sharar said, who switched from golf to cross country at the last minute. “I didn’t even know (that many) people, but I’m playing cards with all these people (during down time) and I don’t even know their names. It’s been great.”

But Howard-Lindquist said the captains of the respective teams and the network of assistant and volunteer coaches have done the job in getting the word out.

“It’s a pretty big community effort,” she said. “For the most part, all of these people got together over the summer and said the program had some changes, so what do we want our goals to be over the summer as far as pulling the team together?

“To their credit, the volunteers and those captains they really worked with the official coaches to have some good summer workouts and recruit those kids.”

Those captains – seniors Molly O’Keefe and Farrar for the girls team, seniors Ian Shiach and Matt Tetlow for the boys team – are ready to lead a young, but what they feel is a talented team into competition.

For the girls, Farrar, a two-time state qualifier, thinks she can make it a third time this year.

“The goal is to make it to state and do something this year, not just run,” she said. “I’ve put in my miles over the summer and changed things up a bit, but I feel really good about how my training is going.”

Also keeping right with her are O’Keefe, seniors Camille Frate and Allison Mathews and sophomores Laura Chipman, Taylor and Sophie Thackray.

“I think we’re in some of the best shape we’ve ever been with all the running,” said Annie, the younger sister of Bevan.

For the boys, Tetlow and Shiach return along with seniors Max Welch and Ryan Vogel, juniors Callan Berry and Griffin Dunn and sophomores Willie Wenzlau, Win McCurdy, Brenden Henesey and Zack Morrow.

“Our goal is to get to where Bevan and Nolan Amy were,” Shiach said. “It’s our legacy.”

They got on the right start with their performance against Holy Names and O’Dea Wednesday in the first league meet of the year.

The girls lost 26-31 while the boys lost 23-32.

Farrar came in second to the Cougars’ top runner Chelsea Burns with a time of 19:55.

Taylor took fourth and newcomer Hayley Trageser was fifth.

O’Keefe finished eighth while newcomers Zoe Worthington and Sharar took 12th and 15th, respectively.

On the boys side, Shiach was second with a time of 17:39 while Tetlow took fourth with a time of 18:25.

Newcomer Josh Larkin was seventh, while Vogel was ninth and newcomer Gordon Taylor was tenth.

Wenzlau finished 11th while Dunn took 17th.

Howard-Lindquist said she’s excited to see how everyone does over the season – especially when they get to watch runners grow over the years.

“We’re going to see some huge improvement,” she said. “But the biggest improvement is going to come from the kids that we consider traditional JV runners.

“They’re just going to surprise themselves hugely. It may not make the sport pages or the record books, but when you look at the overall season, you go wow, here are some kids that at the end of the season that are going to be varsity runners.”

Bainbridge takes part in the Salt Creek Invitational near Sequim today.

Their lone home meet is Oct. 3 at Battle Point Park.

Howard-Lindquist said they still need volunteers to help, so contact her at annehowardlindquist@hotmail.com for more information on how to help out.

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