By Oliver Lazenby
With just two regular season meets left in the high school cross country season, the majority of Blaine runners are preparing for the district meet at the end of the month and clocking their best times of the year.
Nine boys and nine girls from each team qualify for the districts meet, so there’s room for all of the girls team and all but a few of the boys. Still, the athletes are proving ownership of their spots as many have made personal best times in recent weeks.
Five of Blaine’s varsity boys ran personal bests at last weekend’s Hole in the Wall Invitational at Lakewood, the team’s biggest meet of the season so far.
Tanner Sterling and Bailey Bleazard ran sub-20-minute 5Ks for their first time, with Sterling finishing in 19 minutes and 58 seconds and Bleazard crossing the finish line one second behind him.
Drake Anderson, Ben Arps and Landen Carlton also ran personal best times.
Liam Lyons, Blaine’s top finisher on the boys side, finished in 18 minutes and 42 seconds, his best time of the season. Blaine’s second finisher Malachi Crump crossed in 19 minutes and 26 seconds.
Of those, Lyons is the only senior and most of the others are freshman.
“We’ve had a fantastic crew of freshman this year,” head coach Fryth Rasar said. “Some of these boys are just beginning to tap into their potential. If they keep at it they could completely change the Blaine cross country program for the better in the years to come.”
The girls’ team also had several runners break their own records, starting with Jamie Good, who finished first for Blaine with a personal best time of 20 minutes and 39 seconds. Good is probably Blaine’s best chance to send a runner to the state meet, Rasar said.
Sophia Dwyer ran a season best of 22 seconds and 57 seconds. Taylee McCormick was Blaine’s third finisher at 23.14 seconds, and Ayanna Holguin finished in 23 minutes and 57 seconds, a personal best.
Blaine cross country has two more regular season meets left: the Lake Lap Invitational at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 12 at Lake Padden and the Northwest Conference Meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18 at Civic Stadium. The 2A District meet is on October 28 at South Whidbey Island High School.