On a delightful day of blue sky and warm sunshine, the Woodinville Falcons headed to Marymoor Park to run against Issaquah and Eastlake on Oct. 8.
Woodinville Coach Sandy Laurence and her assistants spent five and half hours preparing the 5,000-meter course, and were raring to go when the starter’s pistol went off at 4:35 p.m.
When it was all said and done, the Falcons finished last in hypothetical team scoring for both the boys and girls varsity divisions. But the day featured strong individual performance from several Falcons.
Woodinville’s best showing came from senior Jordan Markezich, who finished in third place at 16:52, behind Eastlake’s Nathan Pixler (16:10) and Issaquah’sKennan Schrag (16:12).
“It was good to get some fast miles in there,” Markezich said. “Good little fast paced run. I always want to stick with the top guys, so that’s what I did today. I wanted to see how I could do in getting out here and matching up against the top runners here today. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
“Jordan got roughed up at the start and still came back,” Woodinville coach Sandy Laurence said. “He was able to get right back out in front of the pack and led for most of the race. He had a pretty good time for him and he was right up there with the leaders in state.”
Also competing strong were Alex Hill (16:52) and Sam Moschel (17:19), who finished ninth and 11th respectively, and prompted praise from their coach.
“Sam Moschel had a really good race today,” Laurence said. “And Alex Hill went after it. I don’t teach our kids to pace and never use anyone else as your guide. Start fast, run the middle fast and finish fast. That’s how you run! That’s how you race! You don’t pace. Especially in a 5K with this kind of talent, you can’t be looking at your watch and trying to do a time. Not today. Not when you’re varsity.”
The top performers for the Woodinville girls were Chloe Fleuret (30th) and Sydney Luitgaarden (31st). The young ladies crossed the finish line almost as if tethered at the hip, as Fleuret finished 7/10 of a second faster than her teammate with a time of 23:18.2. It turned out not to be newsworthy.
“We tend to do that every time we run in track and cross country,” Luitgaarden said with a laugh. “Eastlake and Issaquah are both very competitive teams. So it definitely pushes us to go a little bit faster, but that’s a good thing. So I think we did pretty well.”
At day’s end, Laurence was asked for her overall assessment.
“We have some state contenders as individuals if not a team,” Laurence said. “The boys varsity looked spectacular. Our girls varsity has a lot of room to grow. And we’ve got a whole bunch of young pups (junior varsity) out here, and they are really going to grow into something special after a couple of years.”
One expression that was brandished on several t-shirts and which was shouted several times by Laurence was “Run Like Buttah!”
So what does that mean?
“To run like buttah,” Fleuret said with a smile, “it means to like slide right through and push through everything. To slide past all the terrain and obstacles you come across during a race. That’s how she likes us to run.”