Blaine’s chosen few headed to Pasco, Washington, on Saturday, November 5, to compete individually in the WIAA 2A Cross Country State tournament.
Juniors Tom Bradley and Eddie Fontes represented in the boys meet, each placing in the top 50 but failing to break into the top 25. Bradley finished 47th with a time of 16 minutes, 51 seconds, while Fontes ran a 16:39.3 to earn 33rd place, Blaine’s highest mark for the day.
Senior Kiersten Sigfusson, Blaine’s lone girls runner, placed 55th with a time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds.
“Kiersten had a decent race overall, and she really finished strong,” head coach Carey Bacon said. “It was such an amazing thing that she got in [to state] to begin with.”
Bacon said he was pleased with his group’s overall performance, especially considering the caliber of runners they were pitted against.
“It’s pretty hard to get individuals to the state meet, especially this year, as only the top 15 get to go,” Bacon said. “It’s a very, very strong league and district, so it’s quite a tribute to them that they are putting the work in and getting there.”
While Bacon said he was very pleased with how all three of his runners performed, he felt Bradley has the ability to improve his times in future meets. At a little over a mile into the race, Bradley held fourth place. Unfortunately, he gradually faded to 47th by the end of the course.
“Tom didn’t seem to have any reserves to pick it up in the end. It’s unfortunate, because he really hasn’t had a bad race all year,” Bacon said. “But these things happen. It’s not that uncommon, really.”
Bacon said Saturday’s weather was ideal, clearing up for windless conditions and temperatures in the high 40s to low 50s.
Fontes and Bradley, both juniors, will have one more season to build on their speed and endurance in hopes for a faster finish next year.
“I believe Eddy was 30 seconds faster this year than he was the year before at this state meet,” Bacon said. “It’s a lot harder to get faster once you’re already fast, but I expect both of them to be really strong next year.”
Bacon said he was very impressed with all his runners and was pleased with the season’s outcome.
“It was a good season overall. Those people that went to state and really earned their way – they really shined,” Bacon said. “Good things overall.”