MIXC Triumphs Over Key Rival in Season Opener

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Asha Woerner

By Asha Woerner

After going 492 days without a race, Mercer Island Cross Country defeated conference competitor Interlake in a long-awaited and dominant victory, March 10, 2021.

The boys team finished their laps of the Island Middle School three-kilometer course with an impressive score of 20-43, while the girls finished 24-37. Given that this was the team’s first race since the fall of 2019, the Islanders’ victory was impressive and encouraging to see. 

“I feel like we have a really strong group this season,” senior captain Bailey McKim said. “I’m super excited and feeling super hopeful because this was the first meet and we killed it.” 

Although Interlake runners Kaeden Brinkman and Rachelle Cormier took the first place spots in both the boys and girls races, Mercer Island had much more depth and consistency. Led by junior Kai Zettel and freshman Sophia Fan, the boys team took places 2-18 and the girls took 2-16. 

“It took a long time for us to get here, but it couldn’t have been better,” McKim said. “[I’m] super proud of everyone.”

However, while Mercer Island and Interlake technically raced against each other, the two teams did not run side-by-side due to COVID-19 protocols. Instead, runners were sent off in waves of 15 people of the same team, followed by 15 runners of the other team.

“I personally think that [running in waives] was less intimidating,” junior Jake Levin said. “With only your [teammates] at the start line, it’s just so much more comfortable, and [we’re] much more used to it.”

This safety precaution allowed runners to not wear masks, once they were out on the course.

Mercer Island Cross Country will look to carry their momentum into next Wednesday’s meet against Bellevue.