ARLINGTON — The Arlington boys and girls cross country teams traveled to South Whidbey Sept. 26 to compete in the Wesco League Championship meet, and both teams finished well enough to move on to the Nov. 2 Bi-District meet at Lincoln Park in Seattle.
The Arlington varsity boys team finished in fifth place, and the Arlington girls team finished in fourth place. The top eight boys teams and the top eight girls teams will move on to the Bi-District meet.
On the boys side, Arlington Head Coach Mike Shierk said his team ran well, although he believes they are capable of doing better.
The boys finished with 149 team points, the same total as Edmonds-Woodway.
“It came down to a tie-breaker,” said Shierk, who added that scoring is done by taking the place of each of the team’s top five runners and adding them up for the team’s score. Both Arlington and E-W had the same team score, so a tie-breaker was used. To break the tie, the place of each team’s sixth runner was used, and Arlington’s sixth finisher, Jacob Fankhauser, finished in 48th place while E-W’s sixth runner finished in 53rd place, giving Arlington the tie-breaker and fifth place.
“We feel like the boys had a good race. What we’re asking of them is to run a great race,” said Shierk. “With the goals that they have, and wanting to qualify for the state meet, we need to do better.”
One of the improvements Shierk said he would like to see the boys make is to run together more as a pack.
“We want them to have a pack mentality, and run together,” said Shierk. “It’s something that we focus on, and have been trying to instill.”
In addition, Shierk said he would like his boys to run with more confidence.
“I don’t think they have been running as confident as they need to be,” said Shierk. “It is just so competitive once you get to this level. You have to dig a little bit deeper. They’ve dug deeper, but it needs to be really deep.”
The top finishers for the Arlington boys were Nathan Beamer, who finished in sixth place with a time of 16:28.5; Peiter Andrew, who finished in 17th place with a time of 17:03.4; Matthew Taylor, who came in 41st with a time of 17:38.7; Ben Comerford, who finished 46th with a time of 17:44.9 and Michael Barene, who finished in 47th with a time of 17.47.1. Fankhauser, who broke the tie with E-W, finished in 48th with a time of 17:56.1.
On the girls’ side, Shierk was also pleased with his team’s performance, although he said that the girls also need to focus more on running together.
“They have the pack mentality but they allow, still, some gaps to get between them,” said Shierk. “So, just as the boys have been encouraged to tighten that up, so too have the girls. We need to have our top three girls all within spitting distance of each other. They cannot allow other girls to get in-between them.”
The top finishers for the girls were Emma Janousek, who finished in seventh place with a time of 19:37.0; Gracie Castandeda, who finished in 12th place with a time of 19:53.9; Cassidy Rude, who finished in 15th place with a time of 20:08.9; Shanelle Shirey, who placed 31st with a time of 21:04.6 and Marie Gaudin, who placed 33rd with a time of 21:17.1.
Looking forward to the Nov. 2 Bi-District meet, Shierk said he believes his teams will run well.
“We have been training really hard, and we believe that all of the hard work and all of the miles the kids have put in are really going to come together this Saturday.”