Updated: Oct 22, 2021
LC's Luce takes the boy's individual crown.
Bellingham - It certainly hasn't been an ideal year for Lynden Christian and their athletic teams this fall season. For two weeks, the school district had shut down due to COVID reasons, and student-athletes weren't allowed to compete until further notice.
Those weeks had finally passed, and the Lynden Christian cross country team got their opportunity to race again after the short hiatus at the Lake Lap Invite at Lake Padden on Thursday.
Maya Ewing won the girl's race to kick things back into gear for LC running a time of 17:01.1 for the 2.6-mile race, winning her second consecutive Lake Lap title.
“I was going to run this race hard because I hadn’t raced in a while,” said Ewing, who was 15th at the 2019 1A state cross country meet. “It felt really good just to get back into it and running strong.”
During the COVID season last spring, Ewing had one of her best racing years as a junior, winning four of five races and running a new personal best 5k time of 18:58.2. She was a top-five runner for all 1A girls.
This fall, she has only raced three times as a senior before Thursday's meet, and her most recent race was a 5k race out in Lynden, in which she won in a season-best 21:07.8. While this year's time currently ranks outside the top 50 for 1A girls, Ewing believes this doesn't reflect her overall season performance and that there is more to come in the next couple of weeks.
“This was my first race back after that two-week break, so it’s nice to be getting back into it," said Ewing. "By the end of the year, I just want to run faster than my PR, so that's the goal to reach."
Blaine's Eleeshiyah Faulkner followed behind Ewing in second running 17:36.4. Sehome scored 28 points to win the team title led by Lucy Major (3rd, 18:06.29) and Paili Airth (4th, 18:07).
Lynden Christian's Andrew Luce bounced back into the racing scene for the first time in four weeks, picking up the win in the boy's race running 13:56.
Coming into the season with high expectations, Luce has had to back off from racing due to an ankle injury that has kept him out the last few weeks. While it has been a setback for him, Luce hopes this win starts some late-season running success.
"I still want to do as good as I can," said Luce. "The injury has put me back a little bit for sure, and I'm just hoping to get more miles before the state meet and do the best I can."
As a freshman, Luce was 46th at the 1A state meet in 2019 and had a personal best time of 16:42.3. Last spring, he was able to get his 5k time down to 17:01 in the condensed season when he finished 16th in the Northwest Conference's Virtual Championship Meet. It was also the last time he had raced a 5k.
"It was so great to get back into a race like this," said Luce. "It's always more fun to have people to race as it pushes me more. It feels like we're getting back to normal."
Mount Baker's Finley Bell and Jorey Johnson finished second and third running 14:51 and 15:00.
Squalicum won, scoring 56 points led by James Rust (15:06, 4th) and Pedro Bojorquez (5th, 15:13).