There are essentially two ways to win a cross country meet: front-running talent or a tightly bunched pack.
It was a little bit of both during easy Central Valley boys and girls victories over visiting Mead in a Greater Spokane League meet on Wednesday.
Seven Bears (4-1) followed in succession the 1-2 punch of Panthers (1-3) Andrew Gardner and Daniel Schofield, who timed 15 minutes, 24.63 seconds and 16:17.96, respectively.
Then came the CV horde, all seven separated by less than a minute for a 25-36 triumph. Logan Giese led the way at 16:20.2.
“That’s something we’ve been working on for three years,” coach Kieran Mahoney said of CV’s pack attack. “The first three years they were learning there’s a huge difference between racing and running.”
In a dual, a 1-2-3 finish assures victory. CV’s girls (4-1) did that one better, claiming the top four places – paced by freshman Brielle Crump in 20:27.16 – and had five of the first six for a 16-39 romp over the Panthers (2-2). And that was without usual top-three runner Sidney Orr, an asthmatic victim of the smoky afternoon.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” CV coach Dennis McGuire said. “I didn’t know what Mead had done. “I just told (the girls) to run a slow first lap and see what happens.”
Gardner raced to another uncontested triumph. But even the 1-2 finish by Mead runners wasn’t good enough against the deeper Bears.
“Last year we didn’t know how to finish the last mile until regional and state,” Mahoney said. “That’s what a year of training has done. We’re closing the last mile.”
In other GSL meets: The unbeaten North Central boys (6-0) had a near-dead heat among three runners, with Tanner Anderson, Keith Williams and Kai Wilmot finishing .4 seconds apart timing 15:21 and change in easy wins over University (4-1) and Shadle Park (1-3) at Shadle. The Highlander girls (3-1) swept U-Hi (3-2) and NC (0-6). The Indians’ Katie Knight continued to roll, beating Shadle’s Emily Stone by more than a minute. …
At Comstock Park, Mt. Spokane (2-3), led by victorious John Dressel, swept Gonzaga Prep (2-3) and Ferris (0-4). The Wildcats girls (3-2), led by Makenna Endebrock, also won twice over the Bullpups (3-2) and Saxons. … The Lewis and Clark boys (4-2) and girls (6-0) topped winless Rogers, with Sumner Goodwin and Gracie Ledwith continuing to shine.
Great Northern League
Host Cheney’s boys and girls opened their league season with sweeps of Pullman (both 1-2). Kyle Lerch ran 16:51, with the Blackhawks placing the top seven for a 15-50 triumph. Sanne Holland won easily in a 20-38 triumph. … The Deer Park boys and girls (both 1-0) swept West Valley by nearly identical scores at Plantes Ferry Park. The boys placed four of the first five, with Daniel Amann the winner, in a 20-39 triumph over the Eagles (2-1). McCall Skay won for WV (1-2), but the Stags won 20-40. … In Clarkston, freshmen Josiah Poler and Brittany Aquino powered the East Valley boys (2-0) past the hosts (1-3) and Colville (0-2) and the girls (2-0) past Colville (1-1) and the Bantams (0-4).