LACEY — Ilwaco’s boys and girls cross country teams both finished comfortably in the top half of a big field of schools at the Bill Kehoe Invitational at St. Martin’s University in Lacey. The Fishermen boys finished sixth of 17 qualifying teams. The girls were third of eleven, with many personal best times. Host Northwest Christian dominated with team scores of 28 in both events.
Freshman sensation Daniel Whiting finished 24th in a field of 202, posting a personal best time of 18:11.5. Ben Brownlee finished 29th at 18:25.3. Marcos Mendoza was 41st at 18:44. Freshman Tristan Trudell, in the sixth race of his high school career, cut nearly a minute off his personal best set the previous week. He finished in 60th place at 19:09.7. Classmate Cody Lowe also set a personal best with 19:23.6. His 65th place finish contributed to Ilwaco’s sixth-place team score.
Sophomore John Glenn, who broke the 20 minute mark in a 5km race for the first time the previous week, took off another five seconds from that personal best to finish in 19:54.3. Blake Hajdok ran a season-best 20:27.8. Anderson Stoddard finished in 21:08.1, Adam Rutherford in 21:46.6, Ivan Ramirez-Talancon in 28:08.4.
Eliza Bannister, a junior in her second year racing cross country, set a personal best with a time of 21:42.1 to finish eleventh place in a field of 108 runners. The field was fighting for third behind Northwest Christian, which had five runners in the top twelve, and Rainier, which had the third and fourth place finishers. A strong run from Bannister put Ilwaco in position to fight for third, and she quickly got help.
Estella Sheldon continued her standout freshman year with a personal best 23:04.4, good for 18th. Classmate Kaytlenn Whelden was right behind her in 21st with a 23:09.3. Alex Carper finished in 24:05.7, also a personal best and good for 32nd place. Isabel Benenati had a season-best time of 24:35.4, good for 42nd. That helped Ilwaco sneak into the third place with a 118, six better than Morton White Pass. Carolyna Mendez wasn’t far behind at 24:42.1 in 47th place. Dominique Bittner finished in 25:05.8, Nisa Mendoza in a personal best 25:10.2.