PASCO - Ilwaco cross country team claimed fifth place at the 2A State Meet in Pasco Saturday and Nate Appel finished the difficult course with the eighth best time among 141 individual runners.
Appel ran an excellent time of 16:59, but trailed Lakewood's Ryan Thomas' winning time by 36 seconds. Eddie Guelfi finished in 18th place with a 17:16 time on the 3.1 mile course. Guelfi and Appel have led the Fishermen runners all season and the senior pair came through again in Pasco.
Derek Duffy claimed 36th place in a time of 17:44, fourteenth among juniors in the State Meet. Jordan Williams was the fourth fastest freshman at the 2A level, coming in 62nd with a time of 18:06 on the course that featured grassy fairways, hard pan, and sandy areas.
Rounding out the Fishermen scoring (the top five runners from each school combine for points) was Jon Fagerland with a time of 19:15, good for 121st place. Fagerland, a senior who has been battling shin splints, ran through the pain to insure his team finished in the top at State.
Freshmen Shaun Peterson (123rd) and Dylan Wirkkala (127th) were very close to Jon as they completed the course in times of 19:17 and 19:28 respectively.
To determine team winners, runners competing as individuals are included. The official team scoring was as follows: Appel 5th, Guelfi 13th, Duffy 28th, Williams 47th, and Fagerland 92nd for a total of 185 points. Martha Williams, wife of coach Joe Williams, was back before press time and related, "There was disappointment on the faces of some of our runners - they felt they could have run better - but placing fifth at this level is a pretty great accomplishment and something to be very proud of."
In the "what if" category, had the Fishermen remained a class 1A school their same times would have earned them a third place finish in this year's meet. Coincidentally, the course was set at Sun Willows, the site where Christiaan and David Thorne and Peter Gaynor will compete for the 2A golf state title next Memorial Day weekend.
Team 2A Cross Country Standings'
South Whidbey 215