With two of her runners under the weather during the week, including No. 1 Gracie Ledwith, and unsure of what the outcome might be, Lewis and Clark coach Sherrie Martin opted for strategy.
“We were trying to break up their groups of two and three runners,” Martin said of the Wednesday’s Greater Spokane League cross country race among three unbeaten schools.
“They ran perfectly.”
If Ledwith was bothered by her cold, it didn’t show in timing 19 minutes, 47 seconds for a runaway triumph at Manito Park and leading LC (4-0) to 26-29 and 24-32 victories over University (2-1) and Mt. Spokane (2-2).
Ledwith said she ran 20:23 over the course last year as a sophomore.
Over the summer she said she ran an hour each day, some 6 to 7 miles, with her dad, Jeff, riding along on his bike, determined to get better for her new coach.
The Tigers had three runners among the top six, including Dannie Baird, who was bothered by asthma, to hold off U-Hi and Mt. Spokane in what proved to be a day of taut varsity races.
So tight, it turned out, that University needed a tiebreaker to sweep the boys competition.
The Titans (3-0) and Tigers (2-2) tied 28-28, with U-Hi’s sixth finisher, Jamie Adair, finishing before LC’s sixth to untie the knot. U-Hi and LC beat Mt. Spokane (1-3) by 26-29 scores.
LC’s Sumner Goodwin was individual winner, taking the lead over Mt. Spokane’s John Dressel up a hill at about the 800-meter mark, he said. They maintained the difference the rest of the way, Goodwin’s 15:59 time 3 seconds faster.
“Three years in a row they’ve beaten us by a point,” Sumner said of the team outcome.
U-Hi is something of a surprise after graduating three top runners, and coach Mike Barbero said that the returnees’ times last year were not that impressive. At Manito, a Titans trio was among the top seven.
“We had a great spring and a great summer,” Barbero said of their improvement. “I knew these guys were going to be at a good level.”
In other GSL meets: Host Mead won two close races, the boys winning 26-31 behind Andrew Gardner’s first-place time of 15:49 and the girls 25-31 despite a 1-2 finish by Amanda Kindzel (21:12) and Anisa Allaert (21:22). Mead took the next five places led by Demi Pfarr (21:56). … Shadle Park rolled to victories on its home course with the girls defeating Rogers 19-30 as the Highlanders, led by Gabi Gomez-Wint (21:09), took the top three places. Peter Glanzer easily won in the boys race in 17:41. Rogers did not field a complete boys team. … In a three-way meet hosted by Central Valley, the North Central boys team cruised to wins over CV (16-47) and Gonzaga Prep (15-50), with Kai Wilmot (16:09.10) and Tanner Anderson (16:09.33) going 1-2. CV defeated G-Prep 23-32 with Logan Giese leading the way at 16:27.23. Katie Knight of North Central won the girls race by well more than a minute in 19:22.43 as the Indians defeated G-Prep 22-35, but CV’s depth carried the day in wins over G-Prep (23-32) and North Central (20-37) with Alexandria Moore’s second-place time of 20:38.58 pacing CV.
GNL: West Valley’s boys defeated host Pullman and Clarkston while Pullman topped Clarkston. Pullman’s girls won twice and WV once. West Valley runners Skylar Ovnicek (18:09) and McCall Skay (20:54) won.