Coeur d’Alene cross country coach Cathy Compton has just one senior on the girls team she’s taking to state.
Still, it’s a veteran group overall. The nucleus ran on the team that finished second at state last year, four points behind champion Boise.
The Vikings have been ranked No. 1 all season, and for good reason. They set a meet record at the Sunfair Invitational in Yakima, taking first with eight points – one more than a perfect score. Six of seven Vikings won their respective flights and the other was second.
“Jesuit (of Portland) had the record with 11 points,” Compton said. “Our record should stand for a while. That gave us a big lift.”
If the Vikings didn’t know before Sunfair, they certainly did afterward. They’re the real deal and they hope to show it Saturday when the 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A state meets are contested at Hells Gate State Park in Lewiston.
Racing will follow this order: 3A girls, 11 a.m.; 4A girls, 11:30; 3A boys, noon; 4A boys, 12:30 p.m.; 5A girls, 1; 2A girls, 1:30; 5A boys, 2; and the 2A boys, 2:30.
The top four teams in each race earn trophies and the top 20 individual placers earn medals.
The CdA girls won a state title in 2004.
A freshman led a tight pack at the Region I championships last week. On a course that will be similar to the state trek at Lewiston, Emily Callahan led a 1-2-3-4-5 finish by the Vikings. Callahan won in a time of 18 minutes, 55.7 seconds. CdA had a perfect score for a second consecutive year.
Following Callahan were Punky Duran (18:56.8), Kara Story (18:57.6), Josie Brown (19:09.9) and Krista Story (19:58.2). The 1:02.5 spread from first to fifth was the tightest all season, Compton said.
Brown, a sophomore, was CdA’s top individual finisher at state last year in third as CdA placed four in the top 13.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Compton said. “They’re going to be nervous, but they have a quiet confidence about them. They’ve done what they needed to do. They’re pretty grounded. They’re going to go in fighting. They know they’ve got their work cut out for them.”
The CdA boys are the defending state champions, but they’re in a rebuilding mode this year. Lake City knocked off the Vikings at regional.
LC, led by 1-2 regional finishers Jake Finney and Kyler Little, could challenge for a trophy.