Edmonds-Woodway’s Yukino Parle led a strong contingent of Edmonds School District runners Saturday as the sophomore won the 3A District 1 Girls Cross Country Championship at South Whidbey High School.
Parle grabbed the lead in the final 1,500 meters of a sloppy course at South Whidbey and won the 3A girls race going away in a time of 19:17.51. Lynnwood sisters Mikayla and Malia Pivec finished second and fifth respectively; E-W’s Olivia Meader-Yetter earned sixth and Mountlake Terrace Hawk teammates Katherine Walter, Ella Schroth and Katherine Gustafson claimed seventh, eighth and 10th in the race.
In all, Edmonds School District runners placed seven in the top 10 finishers at the District 1 girls competition.
By finishing second and third respectively in the team standings, the Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace girls squads qualified for the State Cross Country Championships to be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, in Pasco.
With their performances on Saturday, the Pivec sisters also punched their ticket to the state meet.
Edmonds-Woodway also qualified their boys team for the state meet, led by the efforts of Matthew Park and Sam McCloughan who finished fourth and sixth in the boys varsity race. E-W placed third in the team standings behind champion Arlington and runner-up Glacier Peak.
Meadowdale Mavericks Cameron Sanders and Colin Knechtel also earned spots at the state meet; Sanders finished 7th in the 3A district race while Knechtel grabbed 12th place on Saturday.
The spirits of the entire Warrior team were lifted when Parle won the girls varsity race, the first competition run Saturday morning at the district meet. After running half-heartedly last year, the sophomore gave cross country much more of an effort this year, with notable results.
“I ran cross country last year but didn’t really train much,” Parle said. “Last year I wasn’t too into cross country.”
She credits a much closer relationship to her teammates this season for her increased enthusiasm in the sport.
E-W cross country Coach Al Bonney agreed that Parle was lackluster with her effort last year, but saw great potential in her. “I said, ‘look, if you just up the ante a little bit you could be that good (at running).’ So November-ish on, she started working. And that’s when she made her big breakthrough in track and then she committed again to even more,” Bonney said.
After Saturday’s district win, Bonney said that Parle still hasn’t peaked as a prep athlete. “In the next two years she’s going to be something else, there’s just no question,” he predicted.
While Glacier Peak walked away with the girls team title Saturday, Bonney thinks his squad has a chance to top the Grizzlies and all other squads at the state championships on Nov. 7 – and not just because of Parle. “I think so because Olivia (Meader-Yetter, the Warriors’ No. 2 runner) is starting to come along – she’s running better. And they’re just a solid group. They’re on a mission,” Bonney said.
Mountlake Terrace Coach Todd Weber also believes his squad has a shot at the 3A state championship. His girls finished just one point behind the Warriors Saturday and placed ahead of Glacier Peak at last year’s state meet when the Hawks were 3A state runner-ups.
“Obviously you want to win races like this (the District Championships) if you can, but I think our girls have kind of developed the mentality of ‘let’s move on, let’s make sure we get there (the state meet) first, and then unleash the kind of race that we’ve been training for,’” Weber said.
Weber wouldn’t be surprised if all three Wesco 3A rivals – Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway and Glacier Peak – have outstanding performances in the girls race at state. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have three on the podium next week,” he said.
Arlington dominated the 3A boys district race on Saturday, sweeping the first three individual finishes and placing four in the top five. Warriors Matthew Park and Sam McCloughan finished behind the Arlington top three in fourth and sixth places respectively after battling each other throughout the 5,000 meter race, even swapping positions a couple times during the event.
McCloughan was all smiles after his sixth place finish. “I ran pretty well,” he said. “I went out a little bit slow but then we picked it up and I felt good in the last half and at the finish.”
The junior is looking forward to a return trip to state and hoping to improve upon last year’s finish of 67th. “Last year I was in the 60s,” McCloughan said. “This year I think I can run up with the top guys, hopefully. My goal is going to be top 15.”
McCloughan realizes that a challenge to Arlington may be too much to ask of himself and his Warrior teammates. “They are crazy good,” he admitted. “They’ve got a lot of talent. I’ve got a lot of respect for them.”
The State Cross Country Championships will be run at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. Opening ceremonies are slated for 9:15 a.m., with races for all state classifications throughout the day. The 3A girls race is scheduled to take place at 12:30 p.m; the 3A boys race is set for 2 p.m.
To view all the results from the District 1 Cross Country Championships, click https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=105837#483.
Prep Cross Country: 3A District 1 Championships, Oct. 31 (5,000 meter course at South Whidbey High School)
Girls Team Scores (top three to state)
1. Glacier Peak 59
2. Edmonds-Woodway 71
3. Mountlake Terrace 72
4. Arlington 93
5. Lynnwood 107
6. Shorewood 131
7. Stanwood 184
8. Oak Harbor 229
9. Marysville-Getchell 262
10. Meadowdale 287
11. Everett 312
Boys Team Scores (top three to state)
1. Arlington 26
2. Glacier Peak 77
3. Edmonds-Woodway 82
4. Marysville-Getchell 151
5. Everett 180
6. Mountlake Terrace 186
7. Shorewood 188
8. Oak Harbor 189
9. Meadowdale 252
10. Stanwood 263
11. Ferndale 287
12. Lynnwood 326
13. Marysville-Pilchuck 364
Next meet: State Cross Country Championships, Saturday, Nov. 7, 9:15 a.m. at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.