Falcon runners shine beneath overcast skies

  • Written by Derek Johnson

Dustin Lind finished first, Elyn Lee finished second, and the Woodinville Falcons acquitted themselves well in a meet at Beaver Lake Park last Wednesday on the Sammamish Plateau.

In a sport where lowest score wins, the Woodinville boys triumphed with 27 points. Eastlake finished second with 39 and North Creek at 65. In the girls division, Eastlake came in first with 25 points, Woodinville finished second at 33 and North Creek came in a distant third with 79.

crosscountry1Woodinville's Greg Tobias (left), Shawn Kim (center) and Jordan Kauffman (right) at the moment the starting horn sounded. (Photo by Derek Johnson) “Cross country is a group thing,” Woodinville’s Elyn Lee said. “People think it’s a an individual sport, but it’s really a group sport.”

The Woodinville boys placed four runners within the top six spots. These included Dustin Lind (1st), Jackson Subcleff (3rd), Greg Tobias (4th) and Jordan Kauffman (6th).  

“Last season my best time was like an 18:50,” Kauffman said. “But I put in a lot of miles over the summer. And just this last Saturday I got 16:59. It was quite an improvement and I felt pretty good about that.”

When asked what he’s most excited about, he referenced the future.

“We’ve got couple guys around me, some sophomores, and we’re all coming up together,” Kauffman said. “And our goal is to get to State.”

cross country2Freshman Elyn Lee heads toward the finish line to capture second place (Photo by Derek Johnson) As the girls began making their way around the course, a strange scene developed near the finish line. An overzealous and/or oblivious pee-wee soccer coach began setting up cones and goals literally right in front of the cross country finish line. Someone went and talked to him, but the coach responded with an indifferent “whatever.” So a couple of cross country mothers went around pulling up the cones and one of the mini goals. The coach finally came to his senses, but didn’t hide his indignation as he stalked off to reset his field 30 yards away.

“What a strange man,” said an Eastlake parent. 

With the area now unobstructed, the Woodinville girls appeared in the distance and made their way toward the finish line. Four Lady Falcons finished in the top nine. Elyn Lee (2nd), Alex Howerton (3rd), Libby Roberdeau (6th) and Abby Ellis (9th).    

“This is my first year at cross country,” sophomore Lily Hirano said. “I really like the dynamics that Coach Shuck uses for the team. He encourages us to do our best.”

“Cross country really is like a family,” Woodinville coach Frank Shuck said. “For example, one of our young men was having some difficulties, and a teammate said to him, `hey let’s go for a run!’ And it took care of that issue and it was great. And today the young man is racing and he’s feeling better about things. They really look out for each other. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a bad day. They really are like a family here.”

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