Ilwaco cross country runners ran through pouring rain at Hoquiam Saturday, several setting personal best times despite appalling weather.

“That was really good because it was really nasty and miserable,” said coach Sarah Taylor. “It was very, very wet and very windy.”

In the varsity boys race, a Mountlake Terrace runner won in 16:24.6. Ben Brownlee was the first Ilwaco runner home, setting a personal record (PR) with 18:14.4 and finishing 21st.

“He ran a really great PR,” said Taylor. “He had a really strong race, and that’s great because everyone having a strong race makes the team stronger.”

The team placed ninth. Fellow junior Marcos Mendoza was next home in 34th, placing 19:02.7 on the course, which featured a circuit around the school and a hill that had to be climbed twice.

Next was sophomore Adam Rutherford, also setting a personal record with 19:50.

In the JV boys’ race, freshman John Glenn was first home for the Fishermen.

Ilwaco wasn’t able to field a full girls’ team, but the four who ran coped well with the wind and rain, said the coach.

A Mountlake Terrace girl won in 19:10.3. IHS sophomore Eliza Bannister was 24th in a time of 22:09.4. “She had a great race — a PR, despite the weather,” said Taylor.

Senior Grace Bruncke had a better-than-usual time, said the coach, and Jessie Huntley-Stern, the team’s lone freshman, had to run an extra quarter-mile because of a mix-up with officials over the route. “She was such a good sport about it,” said Taylor.

Hoquiam Invite


97 runners

Team scores

1. Franklin, 38

2. South Kitsap, 60

3. Mountlake Terrace, 74

4. Lynden, 127

5. Elma, 183

6. Centralia, 188

7. Adna, 217

8. Pope John Paul 2, 226

9. Ilwaco, 231

10. Ocosta, 240


1. Braeden Sims, Mt. Tce., 16:24.6

Ilwaco finishers

21. Ben Brownlee, 18:14.4

34. Marcos Mendoza, 19:02.7

52. Adam Rutherford, 19:50.0

69. Jared Rutherford, 20:27.6

71. Jacob Malmstadt, 20:33.0

73. Blake Hajdok, 20:35.5

86. Joe Lopez, 21:45.8

JV Team

1. South Kitsap, 26

Franklin, 39

3. Rochester, 71

4. Ilwaco, 91


1. Ben Meyerson, Lincoln, 17:59.2

26. John Glenn, Ilwaco, 21:20.8


71 runners

Team scores

1. Mountlake Terrace, 15

2. South Kitsap, 46

3. Ocosta, 95

4. Centralia, 152

5. Woodrow Wilson, 154


1. Ella Schroth, Mt. Tce., 19:10.3

Ilwaco finishers

24. Eliza Bannister, 22:09.4

60. Grace Bruncke, 27:03.1

65. Maddy Chabot, 28:19.4

71. Jessie Huntley-Stern, 38:01.7

Earlier in the week, Ilwaco runners had traveled to Adna for the Pirate Invite, which took place around a rather uninspiring flat course which circled the school campus.

Terek Thornburg, a senior from W.F. West High School in Chehalis scorched home alone in 17:28.86, a full half-minute ahead of Rainier senior Zak Miller. Runners from Mossyrock were fourth, fifth and seventh, accumulating points with other Vikings to take the team victory. Ilwaco was fifth out of the nine schools which scored team points.

As in several prior races, juniors Marcos Mendoza and Ben Brownlee were first home for the Fishermen. Mendoza was eighth in 19:01.47 and Brownlee was 18th behind a pack of runners who all finished within seconds of each other.

“There were some fast runners out there and Marcus and Ben were both really pushed,” said Ilwaco coach Sarah Taylor.

Senior Joe Lopez was next home, 32nd in a field of 90. “Joe had a really good race,” said his coach. “He has really moved up.”

Right behind him was sophomore Jared Rutherford, who finished ahead of his twin brother Adam for the first time this season. “He has been racing really well the last couple of meets,” Taylor said. “This was a breakout race for him. It was really good to see that.”

In the girls’ race, sophomore Eliza Bannister placed fifth in 22:44.61. The event was won by Morton White Pass senior Kenzie Anderson in 20:48.8, with Rainier freshman Elaina Hansen 25 seconds behind. Runners from Toutle Lake and W.F. West High School in Chehalis were home next.

“There were some fast girls,” said the coach. “Eliza has run against these girls on the track before, so this was a good learning experience for her. She was really able to push up in the last half of the race.”

Ilwaco’s Isabel Benenati placed 26th in 26:28.26 with the next runner, senior Grace Bruncke, again playing a key role. “Grace helped us figure out the course,” Taylor said. “It was a bit confusing.”

After running Tuesday in the Bill Kehoe Invite at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, hosted by Northwest Christian, the Ilwaco runners are gearing up for the Oct. 22 Pacific 2B League Championships at Ocosta.

Pirate Invite


90 runners

Team scores

1. Mossyrock, 52

2. Rainier, 58

3. W.F. West, 98

4. Adna, 108

5. Ilwaco, 130


1. Terek Thornburg, WF West, 17:28.86

2. Zak Miller, Rainier, 18:07.15

3. Austen Apperson, Adna, 18:15.5

Ilwaco finishers

8. Marcos Mendoza, 19:01.47

18. Ben Brownlee, 19:31.69

32. Joe Lopez, 20:21.3

33. Jared Rutherford, 20:26.4

42. Jacob Malmstadt, 20:59.8

43. Adam Rutherford, 21:03.11

49. Blake Hajdok, 21:20.48

51. John Glenn, 21:25.11

70. Anderson Stoddard, 23:29.45

71. Noah Carper, 23:29.93

73. Waldon Andrews, 23:39.3

76. Kyle Towers, 24:19.07

82. Ghannon Whelden, 25:56

85. Trevor Gilgore, 28:20.01


43 runners

Team scores

1. Rainier, 63

2. W F West, 66

3. Morton White Pass, 68

4. Toutle Lake, 73

5. Mossyrock, 85

6. Ilwaco, 125


1. Kenzie Anderson, White Pass 20:48.8

2. Elaina Hansen, Rainier, 21:13.13

3. Jessica Mitchem, Toutle Lake, 21:52.01

4. Camille Ponyah, W.F. West, 22:29.54

5. Eliza Bannister, Ilwaco, 22:44.61

Ilwaco finishers

26. Isabel Benenati, 26:28.26

31. Grace Bruncke, 27:31.63

35. Maddy Chabot, 28:45.34

42. Jessie Huntley-Stern, 36:10.01

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