Maple Falls, WA - On a wet, soggy Saturday up in the Mount Baker forest, the Nooksack Valley Pioneers boys cross country team won their first meet since 2009 defeating the Ferndale Golden Eagles by 2 points for the 2018 Silver Lake Team Championships.
Nooksack was lead by the 3rd and 4th place finishes of Josh Steele and Logan Clabaugh who ran 17:15.26 and 17:30.38. Both Steele and Logan dropped a minute from their times last year at this invite. Head coach Jay Sloane believes this is the first Silver Lake team title the school has won in program history.
"This is the first win at Silver Lake for the boys," said Sloane in a phone interview. "It has been a while since the boys have won an invitational, probably back when they won the state title in 2008 before I came to this school."
Claubaugh was a big help in the Pioneers win with his 4th place finish. Coming down to the final 100 meters, Clabaugh was going back and forth with Sehome's Domink Riemann and it would it be a photo finish between the two. Both ran 17:30, but Clabaugh had the upper hand winning by 16 tenths of a second.
The beginning of the race however didn't start the way coach Sloane had hoped it would as his No. 4 runner, Jacob Roosma, took off like a bullet from the immediate gun start for the first half mile of the race. Eventually the young man from Nooksack would pay for it later on in the race but managed to finish 15th overall and in fact help the Pioneers to victory.
"The boys did execute the race plan, for the most part," said Sloane jokingly. "What Jacob (Roosma) did at the beginning was not what we had intended for him to do, but he gutted it out still ran tough for us. The boys overall ran smart and tough by moving up throughout the race."
Probably the biggest help for the Pioneers was their 3rd man, Eric Riley, who started well behind in the race and caught up to 20 guys and past them through the whole race. He would finish in 9th place running 18:27, a 3 minute drop from his time in last years race.
Head coach Jay Sloane sees this invite win as a big stepping stone for his boys team and believes this momentum can carry over for the rest of the season.
"As a coach, I see this being a very positive thing for this group. Hopefully this will carry over to them. We talked about having a shot at winning the team title if they executed our plan, but to watch everything fall into place the day of the race should help to build some momentum the rest of the year."
Nooksack will travel down to Maryville this upcoming weekend as they will compete in the 12th Annual Nike Twilight Invite held at Cedarcrest Golf Course.
Granite Fall's Cortes Win 2nd Silver Lake Title
Issac Cortes of Granite Falls won his 2nd Silver Lake individual title in the last 3 years winning the race in a time of 16:58.07. Since Cortes had won this race before, he felt like he had lots confidence going into the race knowing he could win another title.
"I knew I was going to stick with the front group the entire race," said Cortes. "Going into the 2nd mile, the plan was to take the lead and I did. Overall the race went pretty good and I ended up getting 1st."
Whatcom County's own Ferndale took 2nd overall scoring 61 points as a team lead by Landon Sturdevant and Eric Maldonado. Sturdevant was 7th in 18:18.09 and Maldonado was 8th in 18:24.82.
Sehome took 3rd as a team scoring 73 points and Dominik Reimann was the Mariner top runner placing 5th with a time of 17:30.54.