They’ve run all season without their top runner from 2013, but the Coeur d’Alene girls cross country team has fared just fine.
The Vikings are favored to capture a third consecutive State 5A championship Saturday when the state meets are held at Eagle Island State Park near Boise.
Coach Cathy Compton’s confidence in her team resides firmly around Josie Brown and the Story twins, Krista and Kara.
They were key contributors to the Vikings’ last two titles.
“Josie is on fire, she’s motivated, she’s focused and she knows what she wants,” Compton said. “And the Story twins are running well.”
CdA has been without junior Emily Callahan, who has been nagged all fall by shin splints. She took third at state last year.
The Viks will run on a course they’re familiar with. Eagle Island is the site of the Bob Firman race that’s held annually in September. CdA was the top-placing Idaho team there last month, ahead of the team that’s expected to challenge them, Boise.
Rounding out CdA’s lineup are senior Kaitlyn Gunnerson and sophomores Caitlyn Conway and Mercedes Smith.
Compton will know early if her team is on task.
“They run better when they run together,” she said. “They’ll stick together and be aware of their surroundings. They’ll be fine. They know who they have to look for. They’re still the team to chase. The proof is in the results.”
In 5A boys, Lake City will challenge for a top-three finish.
Individually, LC seniors Jake Finney and Kyler Little expect to battle for the championship. Finney is ranked No. 1.
In 4A girls, Sandpoint will be out to defend its state title. The Bulldogs have been led by the Woodward sisters, Rainey and Mikhaela.
Washington schools will be out this weekend to qualify for the state meets, which are Nov. 8 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
Greater Spokane League 4A and 3A teams will go head-to-head with Mid-Columbia Conference teams on Saturday at Carmichael Middle School in Richland.
The top two teams in 4A and 3A boys and girls advance to state. That means in 3A boys, for example, one good team will be left home. State power North Central, Mt. Spokane and Kamiakin will battle for the two berths.
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