Langley, WA - For the 2nd consecutive year, the Meridian boys cross country team won the Varsity Division 2 race at the 40th Annual Carl Westling Invite at South Whidbey High School in Langley led by 4 top 20 finishes from their senior runners.
Nathan Schneider led all Trojans with a 2nd place finish running 16:41.51 for the 5k course. The other top runners were Jaskaran Dhatt (7th), Abbas Theophilus (9th), and Jenson Ellars (20th). Head coach Mike Holz was really pleased about how well his top 4 guys did from where they were last year at this meet.
"All 4 of our seniors did well," said Holz in a phone interview. "All of them ran faster this year at this invite and they are already approaching their district times from last season as well, so that was really nice."
Districts are held at the same course as the South Whidbey Invite for those that may not know.
Coach Holz also said it wasn't just his top seniors who helped them get a 1st place finish, it was a team effort according to him. Sophomore Kobe Koivisto ran in his first high school invite running 19:36 and was the Trojans 5th runner.
"Kobe (Koivisto) had a big jump, which was nice to see because he is young and got a lot to improve on. Everybody did their job on Saturday that ran on varsity."
Lynden High School placed 4th as a team and senior Tate Hutchins won the Division 2 race with a winning time of 16:34.65 beating Meridian's Schneider by 7 seconds. Junior Isaiah Ellis, teammates of Hutchins, was 14th running 17:32.70.
The Sammamish Totems and Cedarcrest Red Wolves were 2nd and 3rd as teams in the Division 2 race.
Top runners from Whatcom County schools were Bellingham's Jensen Kintzele (17:57), Nooksack's Josh Steele (18:16), and Blaine's Connor Hettinga (20:10).
The Division 1 boys race was won by Shorecrest's Erik Luu in a time of 15:55.69 and the team title was won by Edmonds-Woodway High School scoring a total of 47 points. Squalicum's Joe Brodeur ran 18:08 for the Storm's top boy.
Red Raiders Upset By King's Knights in Girls Race
The Bellingham girls managed a 2nd place team finish in the Division 2 girls race led by senior Annkia Reiss's 2nd place finish as she ran 18:27.97. Reiss went for a 2nd consecutive Carl Westling Invite title, but was denied by King's High School's Naomi Smith, who ran 18:24.52 for the win.
King's also won the team title for the Division 2 girls race beating Bellingham by 4 points.
Bellingham had 2 other top 10 finishers with senior Grace Much placing 6th in 20:20 and junior Livi Lackland Henry placing 7th in 20:21.
The Meridian Trojan girls placed 4th as a team with freshman Kayla Aalpoel placing 8th in 20:37 and senior Kendyl Otter placing 12th in 21:30 as the Trojans top runners.
Other top Whatcom County runners from their schools were Lynden Christian