The Bainbridge High School cross country team saw stellar showings by both the boys and girls squad at the recent Metro Championship, thus securing their entry to the Sea-King District meet on Saturday, Nov. 2.
“The extremely tight Metro League field, where four teams finished within five points, is one indication of the high competition expected to intensify at the district championships,” BHS team officials said.
Junior Sean Westerhout led his team with a career-high fifth place on the hilly Lower Woodland Park course, coaches reported, racing with the lead pack for a fast first mile (4:54) and then holding on to finish in a near-PR 16:17.3.
Only two BHS runners, both Metro champions, have run that course faster: Sebastian Belkin (2017, 2018) and Nolan Amy (2003).
Freshman Will Browning strategized differently, surging past 37 competitors after a calm first mile (5:24) to finish in 17:23, a 20-second PR.
Close behind Browning were sophomores Alex Miller (17:30) and Mace Korytko (17:39, a 10-second PR), then seniors Reuben Allen, Micah Glasby (5-second PR), and Garrett Peterson (14-second PR).
Bishop Blanchet, a top-ranked team the state (second overall), easily won the league championship meet, followed by Seattle Prep, Roosevelt, and O’Dea.
The Bainbridge varsity girls team was thwarted in advancing to the district meet, finishing 13th overall.
The young team (consisting of just one senior, four juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman) was led by junior Cassidy Parr, who ran a steady 21:28 to finish 48th, earning an individual spot in the upcoming district championship.
Freshman Lena Wood (22:05) was again the second-place finisher, narrowly missing as an individual qualifier.
Fast-finishing Zoe Lim was followed by a pack of three teammates — Eleanor Collins, Mckennah Thompson and Cate Gleason (22:55 -22:58) — with junior Cora Cole (seventh), returning from illness.
In boys junior varsity racing, senior Trout Boback (18:08) and junior Sam Morris (18:27) both ran substantial PRs to become varsity alternates for the district meet.
Garrett Swanson (20:33) and Alex Stauffer (21:00) led BHS runners in the Junior-Senior Open, while two promising freshman, Mateo Welty (20:37) and Brogan Rice (20:54) led their team in the Freshman-Sophomore Open.
Running PRs in their season-culminating race were Martin Vroom (1-second PR), Dylan Tyler (3-second PR), Ethan Glasby (7-second PR), Evan Gray (10-second PR), Henry Hays (30-second PR), and Jackson Marquez (by 1:32).
The girls JV team took fifth place, thanks in part to senior Eva Entress, a 2018 state competitor hampered by injury this year, who ran to third place in her first XC race of the season by exactly matching Parr’s 21:28.
Also looking strong in the JV race were freshman Sophia Samant (a 3-second PR) and sophomore Soap Allen, while junior Juliet Wallach led the team in the Girls Open race.
Setting personal records on this challenging course were novice runners Isra Moussaoui (who set a new PR by 17 seconds), Lillian Barrett (44-second PR), and Lillian Eckhardt (54-second PR).
BHS coaching staff said they look forward to the challenge of the Sea-King District meet, where the course will be quite different and the competition amongst the fastest in the state.
“These [Bainbridge Island cross country] student athletes who’re fast enough to compete at Districts have been training since last spring with this meet in mind,” officials said. “They’re ready to go.”
The top five teams and 35 individuals at Saturday’s Sea-King District Championship meet qualify for the Washington State Cross Country Championship, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Pasco.