There was a lot at stake in Greater Spokane League cross country season-ending meets Wednesday at Comstock Park.
Central Valley and Lewis and Clark boys were vying for the 4A upper hand prior to next weekend’s regional state qualifiers in Richland. The girls were racing for the GSL championship.
CV Bears teams came out on top in both, despite the Tigers having the individual winners, finishing with identical 8-1 records.
CV boys won 26-30 to finish behind unbeaten North Central, chasing LC individual winner Sumner Goodwin in the four-team meet. The girls won 22-25, packing five runners among the top nine behind LC’s Gracie Ledwith.
The boys field was overmatched against Goodwin who raced to the front early and won by half a minute over Shadle Park’s Nicholas Hauger and Ferris’ Travis Thorne. He took off like a shot, although worried he might have gone out too hard put. He put considerable distance between himself and the field just a third of the way through the race and didn’t back off.
“It’s really weird coming from last year,” said Goodwin, who’s considered among the state’s top three 4A runners. “I was just beginning to become a front runner so this year I started to run more races by myself.”
At Comstock, he and coach Mike Lee decided to give it his all and try to break the course record, which he did by 16 seconds timing 14 minutes, 51 seconds.
But individual talent wasn’t enough against Central Valley’s depth.
“We’ve been working on our pack skills,” Goodwin said, “But CV is just a really good team.”
Bears coach Kieran Mahoney liked what he saw. All five of his scorers finished in less than 16 minutes. Corey Hunter, Spencer Jensen and Austin Seely, he said, showed big improvement.
“For as close as the score was, it’s not comfortable,” Mahoney said. “But give the guys credit. Five under 16 minutes is significant. I think it was a nice team victory.”
CV’s girls lost their first GSL meet 20-37 to Mt. Spokane. They didn’t lose again.
Against the Tigers, three Bears placed behind Ledwith and the other two were eighth and ninth securing the undisputed league title.
“We were a little bit beat up at the first of the year and Mt. Spokane ran a great race,” coach Dennis McGuire said. “Let’s put it this way. The team I watched race today is the team I expected to have.”
Other GSL boys meets: North Central completed a perfect season – one in which it overwhelmed the opposition – beating Mt. Spokane 19-44. The Indians put all seven of their runners among the top eight finishers at Audubon Park. In no meet did NC’s seventh runner finish lower than ninth. Kai Wilmot beat Wildcats sophomore standout John Dressel, 14:55 to 15:09… In a four-way race at Riverside State Park University swept Mead, Gonzaga Prep and Rogers to finish third in league behind NC and CV. Mead’s Andrew Gardner ran alone, his 15:43 time 37 seconds faster than his nearest challenger, U-Hi’s Austin Sloan. U-Hi had seven of the race’s top nine placers.
GSL girls meets: There was a three-way tie for second, Mt. Spokane and Gonzaga Prep joining LC with 7-2 records. Mt. Spokane defeated North Central by placing five runners, three of them freshmen, plus a sophomore, behind race winner NC’s Katie Knight who won by more than a minute and a half. … Gonzaga Prep bested University, Mead and Rogers. Bullpup Ann Maloney was the individual winner.
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