Voices

Jill Makes It Three For Fleet-Footed Larson Family Brothers And Sister Are Key Components Of Cross Country Teams

The Larson family of cross country runners has grown to three.

Brothers Brandon and Kirk raced against each other one more time in the Greater Spokane League dual meet season finale Wednesday at Finch Arboretum.

Preceding them in the girls race was their freshman sister, Jill, who like Kirk attends Gonzaga Prep.

The subjects of a Valley Voice article last fall, Brandon and Kirk Larson became cross country foes because Brandon attends Central Valley High School for special instruction in reading and writing.

Although Kirk Larson, a junior, still hasn’t beaten his older brother in cross country he is getting closer.

When the two raced against each other on Wednesday, CV senior Brandon finished third in 16:37 and Kirk was seventh, 22 seconds behind. They had finished seventh and 13th earlier this year in the Coeur d’Alene Invitational at Farragut State Park.

Jill, a first-year runner who is already a letter winner, preceded them on the Finch 5-kilometer course.

“Kirk wanted her to run and she lettered after four races,” said their mother, Janice.

Jill started on junior varsity but was elevated to varsity for the SunFair Invitational in Yakima. She competed as Gonzaga’s No. 4 entrant.

“I tried to get her training in the summer,” said Kirk. “She didn’t do it until the season started.”

By season’s end she has become the Bullpup’s No. 2 runner. So too, on their respective teams, are her brothers.

Running against some of the GSL’s best athletes, from CV and University high schools, Jill finished 14th overall in 22:24.

Thereafter, the brothers faced each other, perhaps the next-to-last time in their high school careers.

“It’s his last GSL (dual) race,” said Janice of Brandon. “He wants this.”

Sure enough, the CV athlete and teammate Robby Warnock locked in a pack up front with two others and he eventually finished third behind the 16:25 and 16:26 times of Warnock and Prep’s Jim Rucker.

“I’m going for under 16 minutes at regional,” Brandon said. “I’m just trying to go to state.”

Kirk got the satisfaction of being part of a team victory, surprising 6-2 league record and third-place GSL finish. Among the victims was highly-regarded University.

“We beat the third-rated team in state,” Kirk said.

And of the competition with his brother, he added, “We’ve got one more race.”

The brothers will compete at Hangman Valley Golf Course next Saturday in the regional meet. Brandon needs a top 15 finish to qualify for state. Kirk could get there if Prep places among the top three teams even if he isn’t an individual top-15 individual.

Whatever the outcome of their state bids, Brandon says his brother won’t beat him.

“There’s no chance ever,” said Brandon. “No way in the whole world.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo



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