IHS cross country team continues to shine

Ilwaco boys swept the first five places at their home cross country meet last week. The girls, some of whom are pictured above, also won and are coming on strong, according to Coach Joe Williams. CAROL WRIGHT photo

ILWACO - In bowling it's a 300 game, in baseball it's no runs, no hits, and no errors, and in cross country it is a score of 15 - a team's first five runners placing one through five - that spells perfection. And a perfect score is exactly what the Ilwaco boys achieved at their home meet Thursday.

Nate Appel cruised over the 2.9 mile course in 16:49, finishing just five seconds ahead of Ed Guelfi. Third place went to Derek Duffy in 17:29, Jordan Williams placed fourth with 17:37, and Jon Fagerlund completed the sweep for Ilwaco in a time of 18:19.

The Fishermen's Garret Binion hit the finish line an eyelash out of sixth place, running a time of 18:24. Dylan Wirkkala rounded out the top ten in 19:20 and Scott Fagerlund completed the course in 19:21 to give Ilwaco eight of the top 11 places. Cathlamet finished the meet in second place while North Beach, and Naselle rounded out the top four places and Ocosta did not have enough runners to get a team score.

"I told the boys team to run easy tonight," a proud Joe Williams said of his runners. "We have a big meet coming up at Kelso Saturday that should be a big test for us."

"The girls team is really coming on," coach Williams related. The Lady Fishermen also won their side of the only home cross country meet of the season, defeating Cathlamet 23 to 35. North Beach and Naselle also had runners compete, but did not have at least five participants required to record a team score.

Karla Parsons zipped to a first place finish with a time of 21:54 and Erin Knick (23:04) and Kari Knutzen (23:17) finished the course in third and fourth places. Coming in at sixth place was Elaina Erola with a 25:18 and rounding out the scoring for Ilwaco in ninth place was Meredith Jensen (26:08).

Coach Williams learned that the top four boys teams from District will qualify for State and that only the top girls team will move on to Pasco for the big meet. "The LaCenter girls will give our team a real challenge for the top spot at District," Williams predicted.

KELSO - "We did pretty well against the big boys," a pleased Ilwaco cross country coach, Joe Williams remarked after his team finished sixth among a field of 17 schools, all but two of which are in the 3A and 4A class in Kelso Saturday.

"Overall I thought we responded very well to the competition," Williams said, "a couple of the guys could have run better, but this was a good meet for our kids."

Nate Appel finished seventh individually in a time of 15:50 over the three mile course. Ed Guelfi came in 20th (16:28) in the sultry heat and freshman, Jordan Williams ran a 16:49 to get 32nd. Derek Duffy, nursing a blister from Ilwaco's home meet on Thursday, still managed a 17:17, good for 42nd and Jon Fagerlund finished 45th in a time of 17:21. Garrett Binion finished with a time of 17:53.

Team scoring sounded like a who's who in 3A and 4A schools in western Washington. Kelso won with 52 points, edging Heritage with 53. Battle Ground was third, Skyview fourth, Canby from Oregon fifth, and then Ilwaco. "We hadn't seen LaCenter, the only other 2A school close to us, and we finished ahead of them by almost 60 points," Williams said.

Ilwaco placed ahead of the likes of Lincoln and Stadium of Tacoma, Mark Morris, Evergreen, Prairie, and Hudson's Bay.

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