Thursday’s prep roundup: Mountlake Terrace cross country teams christen new course at Ballinger Park

Stanwood's Caroline Dolan (right) and MTHS Hawk Katherine Walter hit the finish line together in Thursday's three-team cross country meet at Ballinger Park. Dolan was credited with the victory. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)
Stanwood’s Caroline Dolan (right) and Mountlake Terrace’s Katherine Walter hit the finish line together in Thursday’s three-team cross country meet at Ballinger Park. Dolan was credited with the victory. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)

In a meet that was as much about the venue as it was about the runners, the cross country teams of Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway and Stanwood High Schools christened a new course on Thursday at Ballinger Park in Mountlake Terrace.

Hawks coach Todd Weber and Edmonds-Woodway coach Al Bonney gave high praise to both their teams and the new site for high school cross country competition. “It was a great opening day,” Weber said. “I think the pure landscape and scenery, to me, makes this such a cool place to run.”

“I think it’s just a spectacular course,” Bonney said.

The three-team meet served as the season opener for all three high schools and coaches stressed for their runners to not push themselves; instead the top competitors generally stayed in packs and didn’t necessarily aim for a top finishing spot. “We wanted them to, what we call, ‘tempo it,’” Bonney said. “They’ve all got to race on Saturday and we didn’t want them cutting each other up.”

“We decided that we were both gearing up for the meet on Saturday; we needed a hard workout today and decided that since we had pretty compatible groups with the girls and the guys we decided to try (a pack run) out,” Weber said.

Finishing times for the top runners at the meet were recorded in pack times to encourage runners to ease into the season’s first competition.

Despite the slower pace, both coaches were encouraged by what they saw out of their teams on Thursday. “I loved what our girls did,” Weber said. “I thought they looked awfully strong.”

“I was very happy with the guys,” Weber added. “I thought our two frontrunners (Braeden Sims and Nick Leidig) hung in there with the E-W kids and I thought Josh Liddell got in there and mixed it up with the top pack. I also thought Mac (MacKenzie Siemens) did a good job too.”

Mountlake Terrace coach Todd Weber said the landscape and scenery at Ballinger Park makes it "such a cool place to run."
Mountlake Terrace coach Todd Weber said the landscape and scenery at Ballinger Park makes it “such a cool place to run.”

“Overall I was very, very pleased with my group,” Bonney said of his Warrior runners. “This is going to be a very good team again.”

In the AP Washington State Cross Country Coaches Poll that was released on Thursday, the Edmonds-Woodway boys squad was voted 10th in the 3A rankings; the Mountlake Terrace girls team was placed second behind No. 1-ranked Holy Names Academy.

Conducting a cross country meet at Ballinger Park had been a dream of Bonney ever since the site stopped being used as a golf course in late 2012. “When they first closed down I just looked at it and said ‘this has got to be a cross country course,’” he said.

The 42 acres that had previously been Lake Ballinger Golf Course was closed in November 2012 and has transitioned by the City of Mountlake Terrace into a passive park.

Runners made a couple loops around mowed trails on both sides of Haller Creek that splits the park, and crossed a short footbridge three times before finishing directly in front of the Mountlake Terrace Community Senior Center’s building on the grounds.

With the success of Thursday’s meet at Ballinger Park, both Weber and Bonney are now hoping to conduct more cross country meets at the site, including the regular season finale for both Mountlake Terrace and E-W, the Edmonds District meet, on Oct. 15.

“We’re going to hopefully propose it to Julie (Stroncek, Edmonds School District athletic director) up at the district office,” Weber said. “Other coaches have all said that if it works out well today, they would support the change. So there’s a possibility that we’ll be back here for the Edmonds District meet. It would be kind of cool.”

In other  sports action on Thursday, the girls’ swim, soccer and volleyball teams all fell in Wesco 3A competition.

— By Doug Petrowski

Prep Cross Country: Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway and Stanwood, (2.7 mile course at Ballinger Park, Mountlake Terrace)

Boys top finishers
1. Anindo Khan (Edmonds-Woodway), 16:43
2. Grady Okeson (Edmonds-Woodway), 16:43
3. Braeden Sims (Mountlake Terrace), 16:43
4. Matthew Park (Edmonds-Woodway), 16:43
5. Nick Leidig (Mountlake Terrace) 16:43
6. Sam McCoughan (Edmonds-Woodway), 16:43
7. Benjamin Yang (Edmonds-Woodway,), 16:43
8. Michael Sandquist (Stanwood), 16:53

Girls top finishers
1. Caroline Dolan (Stanwood), 19:30
2. Katherine Walter (Mountlake Terrace), 19:30
3. Ella Schroth (Mountlake Terrace), 19:30
4. Stephanie Wroblewski (Edmonds-Woodway), 19:30
5. Katherine Gustafson (Mountlake Terrace), 19:30
6. Yokino Parle (Edmonds-Woodway), 19:30
7. Sydney Boland (Edmonds-Woodway), 19:30
8. Megan Kelly (Edmonds-Woodway), 19:42

(To view all the results, click https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=108544#488)

Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds-Woodway next meet: at Fort Steilacoom Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 19, at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood

Prep Girls Swimming: Mountlake Terrace at Mariner

Mariner 99, Mountlake Terrace 39

Mountlake Terrace event winners: Tori Loughe, 100 meter backstroke, in a time of 1:18.41; Loughe, 200 meter freestyle, in a time of 2:39.57

Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1; Mariner 2-1

Mountlake Terrace next meet: vs. Lynnwood, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2:45 p.m. at Lynnwood Pool

Prep Volleyball: Marysville-Getchell at Mountlake Terrace

Marysville-Getchell 3, Mountlake Terrace 1

Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1 in Wesco 3A, 0-3 overall; Marysville-Getchell 1-0 , 2-1

Mountlake Terrace next match: vs. Glacier Peak, Monday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School

Prep Girls Soccer: Mountlake Terrace at Shorewood

Shorewood 4, Mountlake Terrace 1

Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1-0 in Wesco 3A, 2-2-0 overall; Shorewood 1-0-0, 3-2-0

Mountlake Terrace next match: vs. Meadowdale, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. at Lynnwood High School

Prep Boys Tennis: Shorecrest at Mountlake Terrace

Match postponed due to weather; rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 3:30 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School

Competitors in Thursday's three-team cross country meet cross a footbridge as part of the 2.7 mile course at Ballinger Park.
Competitors in Thursday’s three-team cross country meet cross a footbridge as part of the 2.7 mile course at Ballinger Park.

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