The Spartans girls cross country team cooked up the same recipe for success at the Olympic League championships as they did last week in their final league meet.
A strong performance from their lead runner and a pack of supporters running together to pick up the rest of the crucial low scores. In the end, Bainbridge scored 34 points, well ahead of second-place North Kitsap, which finished with 59 as the Spartans grabbed the league championship crown.
Senior Eden Michael finished second overall behind Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt with a time of 19 minutes, 3.10 seconds. Teammate Lucky King came in with fifth in 20:30.10, followed by sophomores Liliana Pohl (8th, 21:30.73) and Elise Gonzales (9th, 21:31.23) and freshman Gabrielle Farley (10th, 21:42.64).
And although they didn’t score for their team, Bainbridge had an additional two runners come across the finish line before any other runners from other teams as Hailey McCulloch and Cara Brundige finished 11th and 12th respectively. Claire Hungerford finished 14th.
The second-place Vikings got a pair of good runs from sophomore Salix Wartes-Kahl and senior Genesi Funston. Wartes-Kahl finished in fourth with a time of 20:14.16 and Funston sixth in 20:37.25. Kendall Becker (16th, 22:25.30), Macy Berndston (19th, 22:52.45) and Ingrid Burchill (20th, 22:52.67) were all top 20 finishers as well.
The Kingston girls finished fifth on the strength of top-20 performances from Alice Moe (13th, 22:05.99) and Arlana Forbes-Prater (17th, 22:42.70).
In the boys’ race, Kingston, North Kitsap and Bainbridge finished second, third and fourth respectively and all three teams were separated by just nine points. Port Angeles won the league title.
The Bucs had two runners in the top 10 — Connor Nichols (7th, 17:13.51) and Kaeden Peterson (8th, 17:22.29). Sophomore Lucas Lenz finished 11th in 17:36.95 and rounding out their top five were Emmanuel Moes (17:59.25) and Benjamin Eudeline (18:02.55).
Dereck Cordova (17:32.21) and Alec Ibarra (17:33.06) took home ninth and 10th respectively for North Kitsap, and Quinny Stewart (15th, 17:50.95) and Matthew Fee (16th, 17:53.03) also finish in the top 20.
Bainbridge’s Alexander Miller was the top local finisher, taking home second place with a time of 16:35.17. Junior runner Will Browning also had a strong showing, taking fifth in 17:08.40. Peter Mace Korytko was also in the top 20 for the Spartans, finishing 18th with a time of 17:57.58.