ARLINGTON — The Arlington High School cross country team is having a great season so far, with some of the top times in the state, so when they hosted a meet on Thursday, Sept. 27, at River Meadows Park, with Everett and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools competing, it was no surprise they managed to take the top spots.
The 5,000 meter boys varsity and JV race finished with senior Jameson Wren in the No. 1 spot, with a final time of 17.19. Austin Henderson finished in the No. 2 spot with a final time of 17.36 and Ben Comeford took third with a 17.53 time.
Wren and Henderson both competed at the Twilight Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 30, and finished with top times at that event as well.
“Jameson Wren ran a 16.25, which is probably the third fastest time I’ve ever coached,” said AHS head coach Mike Shierk. “Austin Henderson ran a 16.43 there, which is equally impressive.”
The Arlington girls varsity and JV runners took the top five spots at the River Meadows meet, with sophomore Cassidy Rude taking first place with a time of 21:43. Freshman Emma Janousek quickly followed, finishing in the No.2 spot with a final time of 21:45, and senior CJ Taylor took third with a final time of 21:58.
Freshman Gracie Castandeda finished fourth with a final time of 22:03, while senior Rosalie Boyle took fifth with a time of 22:32.
“Our team this year is much improved from last year’s team,” said Shierk. “We only graduated one guy. Both the guys and the girls worked really, really hard in the off-season and it’s making a difference. They are really running well and they are in great shape.”
Shierk was quick to commend the top performers at the River Meadows meet, especially since many of them are newcomers.
“Emma Janousek is a freshman whippersnapper and she’s really tough as nails. She’s got speed, endurance and she’s smart so she’s mentally tough. She’s got times right now that are the best in the state,” said Shierk. “We have another girl from the track team who I recruited, Cassidy Rude. For a sophomore she’s coming on with incredible times. Emma just had a 19.23 at the Bellevue Invite and Cassidy ran a 19.36.”
Senior CJ Taylor has been putting up great times as well.
“She ran a 20.18 or 20.20 and I expect her to be able to break 20 minutes pretty soon,” said Shierk. “Gracie Castandeda is our No. 4 girls and I think she could end up as our No. 3. She ran a 20.56 after two weeks of training.”
Next the team is getting ready for an away meet at Kamiak on Thursday, Oct. 4, followed by the highly anticipated Hole in the Wall Invite on Saturday, Oct. 6.
“It’s really a big deal, it’s the same race as our district championship race. We want to go and perform really well,” said Shierk. “We are still training hard.”