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Harriers back with a new look
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 wouldnt think theyve been affected by another coaching change.
But thats 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.
Thats how you build (a program), she said. You dont 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 didnt 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 shell do an excellent job.
Howard-Lindquist, who is taking her first head coaching job ever, said shes excited to get things going.
To that extent, shes 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 theyve had a lot of fun with Howard-Lindquist and the different approach she brings to everything.
We didnt do as much distance (running at practice) last year, Annie Taylor said. But were doing a lot more, so well have a stronger team.
Shes 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.
Thats helped newcomers like Rebecca Sharar, who said it was easy to make friends.
Theyve been just really nice and welcoming, Sharar said, who switched from golf to cross country at the last minute. I didnt even know (that many) people, but Im playing cards with all these people (during down time) and I dont even know their names. Its 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.
Its 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 OKeefe 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. Ive 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 OKeefe, seniors Camille Frate and Allison Mathews and sophomores Laura Chipman, Taylor and Sophie Thackray.
I think were in some of the best shape weve 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. Its our legacy.
They got on the right start with their performance against Holy Names and ODea 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.
OKeefe 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 shes excited to see how everyone does over the season especially when they get to watch runners grow over the years.
Were 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.
Theyre 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 email@example.com for more information on how to help out.