TOLEDO - Both the boys and girls cross-country teams for Coach Joe Williams continued their unprecedented winning ways as they defeated all comers at the 11-team Toledo Trail Races Tuesday. Jordan Williams continues to impress this season as he won the event in 17:30 and John Hayes was hot on his heels at 17:36 for second place kudos.
Katie Freese paced the girls' efforts with a fourth place finish with a time of 22:38 and Bonnie Perez was fifth in 23:11. Meredith Jensen claimed 8th place in 23:48, Monica Millner was 11th in 24:08, and the Lady Fishermen scoring was rounded out with Emily Leonard's 20th place mark in 25:24.
Mike Huitt turned in his best performance this season in finishing fifth for the victorious Fishermen with a time of 18:09. Shaun Peterson was sixth in 18:16 and Dylan Wirkkala was seventh two ticks behind with a time of 18:18.
The victory for the Ilwaco boys was their 30th consecutive triumph for Coach Williams in dual and small meets.
Top 5 Boys Standings:
1. Ilwaco 21
2. Elma 66
3. Onalaska 113
4. LaCenter 117
5. Rainier 156
Top 4 Girls Standings:
1. Ilwaco 48
2. Rainier 59
3. Elma 100
4. LaCenter 133
All other teams incomplete
Girls fourth at Kelso Invite, boys fifthKELSO-Ilwaco's girls were fourth and the Fishermen boys fifth at the Kelso Invite there Saturday. Coach Joe Williams pointed out that the home Highlander coach, Joe Stewart, "put a target on our back" by hyping the Fishermen squad in the Longview Daily News earlier in the week as pre-race favorites.
Coach Williams said prior to the race, "This was nothing more than locker room psychology for Kelso's team as their runners kept saying 'don't let Ilwaco win.'" The strategy, some sub-par performances by a few Fishermen possibly due to their suffering head colds, and a talented Kelso squad did lead to the class 4A Highlanders finishing one position ahead of Ilwaco.
Jordan Williams "got out fast and held on for a good ninth place finish" according to his coach and father. He added, "Dylan Wirkkala and Scott Fagerland stayed in the race and finished well." Williams said the boys' team were all suffering from head colds they had picked up during the week. He gave his squad a B- grade for their performance in Kelso.
Jordan Williams' ninth place time was 15:59, Wirkkala finished 20th in 16:24, Fagerland 22nd in 16:30, John Hayes faded to 27th in 16:40, and Peterson rounded out the scoring at 32nd in 16:52. Carl Jackson was 36th in 16:59 and Mike Huitt 42nd in 17:20. There were 73 runners in the boy's varsity race.
"The Kelso course is short and flat and definitely favors the Kelso runners," Williams stated. "Our boys needed to run in a tight pack and didn't and we weren't very healthy," he concluded about the Fishermen.
The Ilwaco girls claimed fourth place and Katie Freese finished 11th in 19:13 among the 69 lady runners at Kelso. Bonnie Perez was 24th in 20:53, Meredith Jensen was 28th in 21:22, Monica Millner 37th in 21:55, and Kelly Freese 43rd in 22:10. Emily Leonard was 53rd and Kat Oja 63rd among the 69 girl runners in the event.
Williams said, "The girls are improving. Katie picked up some valuable experience and ran much better. Bonnie ran well despite shin splints and Meredith and Monica are getting in better shape every race." He said Kelly Freese "improved a whole bunch" and gave the girls team an A- grade.
The JV boys finished fifth as Mike Lambert and Stephen Berglund "ran a near perfect race plan" as they made their charge for the finish line at the right time according to Williams. Lambert was second and Berglund fourth among 69 competitors. Luke Jensen, Robert Gibbons, Robert O'Brien, and Kyle Huitt were all competitive as well and the coach gave their team a B+ grade for the day.
Top 5 Boys standings:
1. Heritage 43
2. Canby 56
3. Peninsula 70
4. Kelso 77
5. ILWACO 110
Top 5 Girls standings:
1. Heritage 42
2. Canby 81
3. Kelso 87
4. ILWACO 136
5. W.F. West 137