The 2018 season was going to be a season of change for the Cedarcrest High School cross country team. Both the boys’ and girls’ squads finished in the top 10 at state in 2017. However, four of the top five girls graduated and six of the top eight boys graduated or moved. The team had also moved from being a member of the 2A/1A Cascade Conference to the 4A/3A/2A WESCO Conference. It would be a step up in competition while trying to rebuild a team with many new members to the varsity squad.
The first invite of the season was the Tahoma Co-ed Relays held at Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley. “The A-Team” of Brennan LeBlanc, Cade LaTurner, Lauren Krause, Sonja Blycker and Ryan LaTurner ran super and finished 9th overall. It was a good promising start to the season.
The second invite of the season was the South Whidbey Invite held at SWHS in Langley. Both of the Varsity squads came away with trophies finishing in matching third places in Division 2 (2A schools and smaller). A good sign that perhaps the squad was reloading rather than rebuilding. The varsity girls were led by Elsie Dombek (13th) and Sonja Blycker (14th) as all six girls placed in the top 24. The varsity boys were led by Brennan LeBlanc (6th) and Ryan LaTurner (18th) with the top six placing in the top 50.
The next invite was the Bellevue Invite held at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. The meet was definitely a challenge as there were many top 3A and 4A programs at the meet. In spite of that, both squads finished in the middle of the pack of teams. The Boys Varsity finished 14th while the Girls Varsity finished 10th. Once again, Elsie Dombek and Sonja Blycker led the girls while Brennan LeBlanc and Ryan LaTurner led the boys.
The squad’s final invite was the Portland XC meet held at the Portland Meadows racetrack in Portland, Oregon. This meet is by far the largest meet of the season. There were almost 100 schools competing in four Varsity level races, a main JV race plus a couple JV grade level races.
Both Varsity squads competed in Division 2, which is intended for middle of their Conference teams. That is the third highest level of Varsity races behind the Championship and Division 1. The girls ran really well finishing third overall. Four of the girls came away with medals (top 50) with Elsie Dombek (8th) and Sonja Blycker (11th) leading the way. The boys finished eighth overall. Brennan LeBlanc was our lone medalist in this race with a 9th place finish.
Interspersed between these four invites, the cross country squad competed in three regular season WESCO meets. Lake Stevens, Shorewood and Cedarcrest hosted these three meets. In those three meets, both Varsity squads went 5-2. For the Cedarcrest meet, it was hosted at Duvall’s McCormick Park and covered a distance of 4000m. Sonja Blycker won the girls Varsity race while the boys Varsity race was won by Brennan LeBlanc.
Kamiak hosted the final regular season meet on October 4th. And now, it is onto the Championship season with three meets. There is the WESCO Championships, which is held at Lakewood HS on Saturday Oct. 20th. The Northwest District Championships is held at South Whidbey HS on Saturday Oct. 27th. The State Championships is held at the Sun Willows Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 3rd. Good Luck to all the competitors!