The dream race will have to wait. It was a bummer for Mead cross country runner Andrew Gardner, who had to go it alone in the anticipated duel with North Central’s Kai Wilmot.
The latter had broken Gardner’s course record at Audubon Park over the weekend and the Mead senior was looking forward to the challenge.
Wilmot ran, but it was more of a jog during Wednesday’s Greater Spokane League season opener.
He was reined in so he could protect an upper gluteus injury and took 12th overall as NC’s seventh finisher.
Not that it mattered. The Indians placed six successive runners behind Gardner and Lewis and Clark’s Sumner Goodwin and cruised to 20-40 and 20-43 victories over the Tigers and Panthers.
“It is disappointing when you are wanting to race a fast time and kind of go into your head, you know, about racing fast and at the last minute he bails,” Gardner said after timing 15 minutes, 34 seconds over the 3-plus-mile course to beat Goodwin by 9 seconds.
He said he understood that NC would win even without Wilmot. The Indians ran third through eighth with but 11 seconds separating their pack. Tanner Anderson and Vance Collier both clocked 16:20.
In the girls race, Katie Knight beat Lewis and Clark’s Gracie Ledwith by nearly a minute, winning in 18:18. The Tigers, running for new coach Stacie Martin, won both team races, 25-30 over Mead and 22-33 over North Central.
G-Prep sweeps Shadle: Gonzaga Prep’s boys beat Shadle Park 23-35 and the girls edged the Highlanders 27-28 at Finch Arboretum. Nicholas Hauger of SP was the fastest boy at 16:50. G-Prep’s Cyra Carlson won the girls race at 21:08.
U-Hi eases past Ferris: Ferris runners won both the boys and girls races, but University won the team titles, with the boys beating the Saxons 22-37 and the girls winning 20-39 at Liberty Lake County Park. Travis Thorne won the boys race for Ferris in 16:06 and Anisa Allaet won the girls race in 19:59.
CV, Mt. Spokane split: The Central Valley boys and Mt. Spokane girls were winners at Seimers Farm. The Bears boys won 25-34, while the Wildcats girls prevailed 20-37. Mt. Spokane runners won both races: John Dressel was the top boy at 15:59, and Makenna Endebrock was the top girl at 19:49.