Island XC runners begin season with Tillamook invite

TILLAMOOK, Oregon – The Bainbridge High varsity cross country team recently sprinted to a great season start at the Ultimook XC Invitational in Tillamook, Oregon.

The boys team placed first in the 5,000-meter event, and the girls managed seventh place.

“Our cross country runners who’d qualified for the travel trip, via solid summer training, maintaining their training log, and volunteering with cross country projects, traveled down the coast for the Ultimook XC Invitational, team camping and some beach exploration, along with intrepid parent campers, chefs and coaches,” said BHS Head Coach Anne Howard Lindquist. “Thirty-six team members, plus one coach and two parents, raced at the Ultimook XC Invite, in the larger school division, at Hydrangea Ranch in Tillamook.”

The BHS boys earned a team score of 84, for first place. The girls finished with 180, in seventh.

The speediest Spartan boys were (in finishing order) Carlo Ruggiero, Carter Hall, Jason Weiss, Nathan McVay, Sean Lindsey, Ben Cibula, Sawyer Blair, Evan Kimmerlein, Patrick Ledoux and Andrew Westphal.

The fastest girls (in finishing order) were Natalie Taylor, Anna Scott, Emma Brundige, Liz Messinger, Kari Perry, Adalynn Griesser, Josie Meier, Lauren Wallach and Eleanor Collins.

In the “Open Race” event, assistant BHS coach Dustin Haydock, claimed first place, Dave McVay (father of Jackie and Nathan), took sixth, and Dan Feeney (father of Emily and Kathryn) managed 29th.

The course is lauded for its varied terrain and beautiful scenery, and it was, BHS officials said, an excellent place to start the season.

From the official course description: “The emphasis of this course is to offer a ‘real’ cross country experience without sacrificing a quality, raceable course. It features two river crossings (shallow water, but wide crossing), a mud pit, … a mile of wood chipped trails, and of course a bunch of beautiful flowers.”

The BHS squad will travel to Lincoln Park for their first league competition on Thursday, Sept. 21, to race against runners from Garfield, Eastside Catholic and Rainier Beach. They will host their first and only home event at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Battle Point Park. Runners from Eastside Catholic and West Seattle are slated to attend.

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