The Cross Country Experience at State


Mustafa Agha

Photo Courtesy Mustafa Agha

Jordan Balousek, Sports Team & Photography Team

The Mercer Island Boys Cross Country team had a strong showing at their recent state meet in Pasco. After winning KingCo and placing third in the Sea-King District competition, they placed 10th overall in the state competition.

“Most of them ran pretty dang well. It was a tough course, it was windy,” coach Eric Goldhammer said.

While the girls team suffered from a string of injuries prior to the competitions and didn’t send any runners this year, the boys team still qualified and competed in all three competitions. Even though the cross country team trains together and the runners do place individually, points for cross country are still counted as a team.

“Some had some really solid gutsy runs and sometimes the course and the conditions and the state environment kind of can overwhelm,” Goldhammer said. “It wasn’t necessarily the world’s greatest race for all of them, but overall they still ran really strong.”

Individually, the highest individual placement came from sophomore Owen Powell, who placed 18th among all the boys in the 5k race, and was named to the 1st all-district team. Goldhammer highlighted the importance of young runners like Powell, who will be able to keep racing for multiple years.

“We’re losing three really solid seniors … but we have a pretty young team, most of our top runners are freshman and sophomores with a couple surprise juniors that have kind of popped up, so yeah, it has potential to be pretty exciting again,” Goldhammer said.

The girls team has a similar age range to the boys team. However, Goldhammer also mentioned the variability that was present among the team.

“[The] girls team is still pretty young. Most of our top seven girl runners are going to be sophomores and juniors- we had a really interesting year where at many moments throughout the season many girls were our number one runner,” Goldhammer said. “We had freshmen, we had seniors, we had juniors- like it was kinda crazy.”

While the Cross Country team will stop training as frequently in the offseason, they will continue hosting optional practices all throughout the rest of the school year and summer, and will look to continue their dominance next year.