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SPARTAN SPORTS PREVIEW | Bainbridge cross country teams won’t cool their jets this year
During this time of year when the air begins to get chilly and it gets dark a little earlier, a lot of people are beginning to make preparations to take their activities indoors and wait for the return of summer next year.
Bainbridge student runners, however, are literally just getting warmed up.
The Bainbridge High cross country teams officially began their season with the 3K Tahoma Relays open run at Lake Wilderness Park on Saturday, Sept. 7, and started their competitive season in earnest on Thursday, Sept. 19 at an away meet at Lower Woodland Park.
Coming off of an impressive season last year, the pressure is on for BHS to perform.
It’s a challenge, however, the teams are more than up to, Head Coach Anne Howard Lindquist said.
“Bainbridge cross country individual runners have qualified for the state championships each season since 2005, and perhaps earlier, with teams qualifying twice,” Lindquist said.
“Our 2011 girls varsity team was the State Academic Champion, with a 3.974 combined GPA,” she noted. “The 2012 boys varsity team accomplished our highest-ever team placing so far at seventh in the 3A state championships at Pasco. Individual runners at state have placed as high as fourth and consistently in the top 50.”
Last year both teams placed in the league top 10, the boys in fourth and the girls in sixth. Both teams also broke the top 10 in district placing, the boys in fourth and the girls in ninth.
At the state level, the boys were named the seventh team overall, and from the girls team, Signe Lindquist was named as 36th overall individual.
Coach Lindquist said that past success has only made this year’s runners more anxious to get out there and prove themselves again.
On the boys season outlook: “Our returning varsity boys tasted success at the state meet level last year and are determined to return,” Lindquist said.
“Six of our 2012 varsity are off to college. Several talented determined guys are pushing for those spots, so the top 10 positions will naturally see some shifting around through the fall season and settle down to business in mid-October,” she said.
On the girls: “The girls team is strong on leadership and attitude with eight experienced seniors and eleven juniors,” she said.
“Their training has gotten progressively strong each summer, as has their motivation to race state cross country as a team. Several have raced state track before and want the double whammy,” Lindquist said. “Our girls varsity will be a fearless mix of seniors through freshmen.”
Lindquist named the top returners on the girls team as seniors Alison Wise, Ivy Terry and Signe Lindquist; juniors Lindsay Wienkers and Morgan Blevins and sophomores Julia Denlinger and Malena Delgado.
The top returners on the boys team are seniors Austin Harper, Nick Entress, Thomas Daniels and Sean Simonsen; juniors Arthur Bacon and Peter Lindsey and sophomores Lucas Weyand and Keith Carlson.
The expected players to watch are girls Carolyn Williams, Haylee Derrickson, Anneke Karreman, Naomi vonRuden, Audrey Weaver and Jackie McVay.
The boys team top newcomers are Joe Gildner, Devon Reynolds, Kawin Nikomboriarak, Wyett Longley, Jack Friedman and Harry Bresford.
“Our coaching team and runners understand that it takes a lot of consistent, smart hard training to be good at distance running,” Lindquist said. “So we need enjoyment, craziness and fun along with the tough workouts. Practice should be one of the best parts of the day. We coach for physical and mental improvement ever season, in all our runners.”
“Like all cross country coaches, we’re helping them be the best runner they can be within their high school years, but this is really only the beginning of their running career,” she said. “We expect that our runners can be strong athletically throughout their lives.”