Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Junior Jack Pearce and sophomore McKenna Hunt were the top Mountlake Terrace runners at Thursday’s multi-team cross country meet at Hamlin Park in Shoreline.
Pearce finished second overall in the boys varsity race with a time of 18:46 over the hilly 5,000-meter course. Sophomore John Radeheffer of Oak Harbor won the event with a time of 18:30. Hawk senior Yohans Tewolde finished fourth overall at 19:03, while junior Nathan Sparks placed ninth at 19:28.
In the girls competition, Hunt led in the early going only to drop a few places during the race and finish fourth with a time of 23:29. Freshman Ella Schroth placed sixth at 24:03 and sophomore Marie Auch-Schwelk finished ninth at 24:10. Sophomore Gigi Vujovich of Shorecrest ran away from the rest of the field in winning the event, finishing almost 40 seconds in front of her nearest competitor with a time of 22:21.
The runners not only had to face each other, but a treacherous course that included a variety of surfaces (grassy field, rocky trails, paved paths) and a sharp incline that some competitors called “suicide hill.”
Hunt was winded after the event, especially after following instructions to push herself early in the race. “My coach wanted me to go out hard, trying to get a better time,” she said afterward.
Pearce didn’t mind the conditions of the course layout. “I like the course,” he said. “Honestly, I like hills.”
In team results, Oak Harbor was the top boys team with MTHS finishing second. For the girls, Oak Harbor again finished first with the Hawks placing third.
In junior varsity individual results, Hawk sophomores Taron Castleton and Jaden Yackley raced each other to the line for second place, with Castleton nosing out his teammate. Both runners finished with times of 21:09.