Prep previews: Big turnouts for Hawks cross country, girls swim, boys tennis

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The 2019 Mountlake Terrace Hawks boys cross country team goes through drills at Mountlake Terrace High School. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)

With some of the biggest turnouts in recent memory, coaches of the three Mountlake Terrace Hawks no-cut fall sports teams are enjoying a bonanza of participants this year. With the large numbers of student athletes — and plenty of returnees from state championship meets in 2018 — the Hawks’ cross country, girls swim and boys tennis teams have high hopes for the season ahead.

All three Terrace teams begin their 2019 competitive seasons this week.

Cross country

For the Hawks’ boys cross country squad — a team that finished fourth at the WIAA 2A State Cross Country Championships last year — the goal is sky high. 

“We want to get higher than fourth (in state),” said senior Alex Williams. “First would be nice – everyone wants to get first – but anything above fourth is a win.”

The Hawks’ Alex Williams (center) barks out instructions to his teammates during a recent Terrace practice.

The Hawk boys have about 40 runners on the squad this year, including five of the seven that competed at the 2018 state meet. This season’s squad is not only larger but better, Williams said.

“This is bigger than we had last year; we’ve also got some faster guys than we had last year,” he stated.

The big turnout for cross country is the result of a concerted effort by the program, Williams explained.

“A lot of recruiting happened; Joel (Coach Joel Pearson) was big on that,” Williams said. “We went around to the middle school championship meets trying to find people coming up. And we have a lot of freshmen coming in who have siblings on the team.”

Pearson was not only the catalyst for this fall’s recruitment drive, but was also instrumental in getting the Hawks’ boys team qualified for last year’s state championship meet. But before the 2018 season started, Williams was initially surprised at Pearson — then a first-year coach at Terrace — for his insistence that the team to get to the state meet.

“One of the first things Joel told me when we started cross country last year was, ‘We’re going to state as a team,’ and I laughed at him,” Williams recalled. “I was like, ‘No way. We didn’t last year, we didn’t the year before. We’re not as fast as we were last year; we’re nowhere near where we when we had the guys during my freshman year and they didn’t go to state.’ And then I guess the other guys believed in him more than I did and they really wanted it. So they stepped up and they got it.”

Terrace cross country Coach Joel Pearson (right) talks to senior Alexandria Gill-More. Gill-More qualified for the state championship meet last year and hopes to return this season.

“That was really cool to watch because you can’t get a team to state by yourself; you need everyone,” Williams continued. “So by having everybody — numbers 1 through 7 — step it up, that was huge.”

Williams placed 11th out of 165 runners at the 2A state boys run last year, leading the squad to the team’s fourth place finish. The senior credits Pearson for helping him get faster, including a 40-second improvement in his mile time between his sophomore and junior years.

“Sometimes I don’t see how workouts fit in and sometimes he says stuff that makes me second guess him a little, but then he always clarifies it and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right,’ Williams explained. “Just looking back at last year and how I improved … just looking at my times, it’s hard not to get behind him.”

Now entering his final year of running cross country for the Hawks, Williams is excited for the season to start.

“I’m feeling great; I’m ready to go get it,” he said.

The Hawks begin their 2019 season on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at a seven-team meet being staged at River Meadows Park in Arlington.

Girls swim

Rebecca Lane, the third-year coach of the Terrace girls swim team, is also relishing in a surge of student athletes in the program this fall. “It’s the biggest team that I have coached so far,” she said.

The large roster of swimmers this year is a result of team members recruiting among their peers, Lance said.

“I tell each of them, ‘If you have friends that don’t do a fall sport, bring them into swimming ‘cause I can teach them how to swim,’ she explained. “And we’ve gotten a number of girls that know crawl stroke and that’s about it. Then they turnout and they learn all the rest of the strokes.”

Fielding a team that is enjoying a lot of success also helps in getting others to join. Last year the Hawks sent nine swimmers to the WIAA 2A State Swimming & Diving Championships, with all but two back for this season. The seven returnees — Carly Stave, Emma Van Hooser, Tiffany Vuong, Bre Enriquez, Kate Barry, Angelina Ho and Kayla Primavera — all have their eyes set on returning to the state meet his season.

“They all want to be back there really bad,” Lance said. “They’re working really hard in the pool all ready. It will be interesting to see how they do.”

“I’m really excited to see what they’re going to accomplish this year,” Lance continued. “And I think they’re going to do good things.”

Much of the team’s success in building their numbers and reaching lofty goals can be attributed to their group work ethic, Lance insisted.

“They’re a team. Even without me they try really hard to welcome everyone to the team and to be friendly and to support each other,” Lance noted. “They push each other and challenge each other in the pool, during dry land (workouts), outside the pool at school. They have a camaraderie that’s really unique to them.”

“They’ve built their own culture and I’m just kind of along for the ride sometimes,” Lance added.

The Hawks’ girls swim team ride for 2019 begins on Thursday, Sept. 12, at a seven-team jamboree being held at Kamiak High School.

Boys Tennis

The Mountlake Terrace boys tennis team is also seeing an increase in the number of student athletes this fall, much to the delight of Coach Josh Basha. The first-year coach — taking over for the now-retired former head Terrace tennis coach Alberto Ramirez — has a squad that was competitive during the 2018 regular season but failed to qualify a participant for the state championships.

The Hawks’ top player this year may be senior Marck Primavera, who hopes to lead the team from the No. 1 singles spot. But Basha sees potential in some of the younger players on the squad, many of whom he has watched develop in his role as tennis director at Forest Crest Athletic Club in Mountlake Terrace.

The Hawks’ begin their 2019 season with a match against the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Everett.

Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Cross Country

Coach: Joel Pearson (second year)

2018 highlight: boys’ team finishes fourth at WIAA 2A State Cross Country Championships; girls’ team sends two runners to state meet

2019 key runners: Alex Williams, senior; Josh Beam, senior; Alexandria Gill-More, senior; Lindee Cutler, senior

2019 first meet: seven-team meet on Wednesday, Sept. 11; 3:45 p.m. at River Meadows Park in Arlington

2019 schedule: click www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.2.320 

Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Girls Swim

Coach: Rebecca Lance (third year)

2018 highlight: qualified 11 swimmers for WIAA 2A State Swimming & Diving Championships

2019 key swimmers: Carly Stave, senior; Emma Van Hooser, senior; Tiffany Vuong, junior; Bre Enriquez, sophomore

2019 first meet: seven-team jamboree; Thursday, Sept. 12; 3:15 p.m. at Kamiak High School

2019 schedule: click www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.13.320 

Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Boys Tennis

Coach: Josh Basha (first year)

2018 highlight: qualified senior Anthony Bunyan for 2A District 1 Boys Tennis Tournament

2019 key player: Marck Primavera, senior

2019 first match: versus Archbishop Murphy; Tuesday, Sept. 10; 4:00 p.m. at Gateway Middle School in Everett

2019 schedule: click www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.13.320

— By Doug Petrowski

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