Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.
The Hole In The Wall Invitational, held recently at Lakewood High School in Arlington, is one of the state’s largest and most challenging cross country meets, attracting nearly 5,000 runners from more than 70 schools from Washington, Oregon, California, even Alaska.
So there was a major Spartan celebration when the Bainbridge High School girls No. 1 junior varsity team won first place in their division, finishing more than 50 points ahead of runners-up Lake Stevens and Redmond in a field of 24 teams.
The BIXC girls scored in two packs, team officials reported, led by freshman Sophia Samant and sophomore Sophia Allen in a close final dash (both 22:51, 11th and 12th of 221 runners), with a close group of seniors — Madie Medina, Isabel Thompson and Jeanne Gary — not far behind.
Also contributing to the team win and almost universal personal records (PRs) were Mayzie Carleton, Sophia Soltes and senior captain Kathryn Feeney.
In the No. 2 girls junior varsity race, freshman Ellie Ford led the BIXC team in 23:54 (1:17 PR), finishing 11th among 308 runners, while novice harriers Morgan Sydor and Natalie Kinkead both cut more than two minutes from their 5K times.
The top five varsity girls all set PRs as well, led by junior Cassidy Parr (21:15) and freshman Lena Wood (22:01), followed by Zoe Lim, Cora Cole, Cate Gleason, Eleanor Collins, and Mckennah Thompson, finishing 25th of 51 teams in their division.
The JV girls celebration was echoed on the boys side when junior Sean Westerhout raced to a seventh-place medal in the Division 2 varsity race, pushing ahead in a crowded field of 433 runners representing more than 60 teams.
Westerhout’s speedy 16:12, a 15-second PR, moved him up to seventh place on the all-time BIXC list, behind only Sebastian Belkin, Ryan Cox, Nolan Amy, and three harriers from the 1990s.
Sophomore Alex Miller had a breakthrough run, dropping his PR by 38 seconds to 16:50, which makes him the 19th fastest BIXC runner ever.
Also scoring well were senior Reuben Allen (17:32), sophomore Mace Korytko (17:45) and senior Garrett Peterson (18:22), all with PRs, followed by freshman Will Browning and senior captain Micah Glasby.
The team finished 11th, just one place behind Central Kitsap.
The No. 2 boys junior varsity boys team was eighth of 50 teams, led by Abe Cole whose 19:39 (a PR by 1:08) was 34th among 572 competitors.
This developing squad set many big PRs, coaches said, including Kellen Hungerford (2:10), Charles Smith (1:15), Brenden Hungerford (1:13), Dylan Maxim (1:06), Henry Cousins (53 seconds), and senior Marc Freeman Sheehy who finally returned to form and beat the time he had set as a freshman.
The No. 1 boys junior varsity team finished 16th of 45 teams, led by Spartan seniors Trout Boback and Sam Morris, whose PRs pushed them to the sixth and eighth best BIXC times of the day, followed closely by Nick Grant and Conor Babcock O’Neill, both with 24-second PRs.
Earlier this week, the BIXC team traveled to Lower Woodland Park to compete against their league’s six private schools, in a tune-up for the 18-team Metro Championship on Oct. 24.
Results were unavailable when the Review went to press.