Arlington girls 2nd at Hole in the Wall

LAKEWOOD — With runners representing more than 30 teams at this year’s Hole in the Wall Invite Oct. 10, Arlington coach Mike Shierk had his eyes on the top prize in the girls race.

“With the way we’ve been running, I looked at the field and thought we were going to get this one,” he said.

But the Eagles placed third with a score of 106 — just a pair of points behind reigning 2A state champion Sehome.

“To take third and run the way we did without our two seniors is a pretty big deal,” Shierk said of his group, composed of strictly juniors and sophomores. “That is the luxury of our depth.”

The late addition of nationally ranked Glacier Peak changed expectations, however, and left everyone in the dust at Lakewood High School. The No. 24-ranked team in the country finished five girls in the top 17, leaving little room for Arlington’s pack runners to finish high.

On a day with perfect running conditions, sophomore Teresa Wadey led the way for Arlington, finishing 18th with a time of 19:58. Wadey was followed closely by Kristine Wregglesworth (20, 20:05) and Katie Anderson (25th, 20:22). Once again, the Eagles stuck to their pack-running style with 1:15 separating Wadey and fifth finisher, Bryna Prause (47, 21:10). Sophomore Kyle Kilmer also scored for Arlington, coming in fourth on the team and 38th overall with a time of 20:47.

“We are starting to see this tough group of juniors start to come into their own and compete,” Shierk said. “I’ve seen them run well since they started as freshmen, but now they are pushing everybody and it’s really helping us.”

On the boys side, the day belonged to Lakewood senior Taylor Guske, the 2008 Hole in the Wall champion. Fighting sickness this year, Guske finished third with a time of 16:18.

“I’m really proud of Taylor for fighting through the sickness that is going around our school,” Lakewood coach Jeff Sowards said. “That just shows what kind of a runner he is and I fully expect him to get right in the next couple weeks and be at the top of the state. Seniors sort of find that extra something around this time.”

Guske led a group of Lakewood boys, ranked No. 5 in the state, to a fifth-place finish of 137. Finishing inside the top 50 for the Cougars were Chad Skiles (16, 16:50), Nick Howe (32, 17:22) and Avery Jensen (33, 17.22).

“It was sort of an off meet for both of our teams,” Sowards said, noting sickness.

The Cougar girls frontrunner was Rachel Cundy, finishing in 22nd place at 20:12. Chelsea Stokes (28, 20:31) and Chelsea Sowards (36, 20:46) were also top-50 finishers for the No. 4-ranked Lakewood squad that earned seventh with 206.

The Arlington boys, led by James Clark (23, 16:57), were 10th (268), a score Shierk said will improve.

“They’ve been kind of hoping that Clark will lead us as far as we go, but we’re coming into championship time and now we’ll focus and knock down some of those times,” he said.

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