Montesano’s boys provided the local accent for the inaugural Mark Lyle Memorial Invitational cross country meet, while Aberdeen’s Kyle Hurd took the individual title.
Hurd predictably captured the boys individual title, while the host Bulldogs took team honors Saturday, Sept. 24, at Lake Sylvia State Park.
Led by individual champion Abbie Steinhauer, Mariner of Mukilteo took the girls title.
The long-running Montesano Invite was renamed this year in honor of Mark Lyle, the captain of Montesano’s 1974 state championship cross country team and later the chief starter for National Hot Rod Association drag races. Lyle died unexpectedly this past spring while on vacation in Mexico.
The pre-race favorite, Hurd was pushed for about 1 1/2 miles by Montesano’s Jake Mustard. Only a few strides in front as the runners hit the bridge crossing Lake Sylvia for the second time, the Aberdeen senior extended his lead considerably entering the Chapin Collins Memorial Forest perhaps 100 yards later.
He exited the forest some 40 seconds in front of Mustard and finished 33 seconds ahead of his nearest rival with a time of 16:44 for 5,000 meters.
Continuing his recovery from a lower leg injury that plagued him last year, Mustard wound up outdueling teammate Logan Clements for second.
Hurd said he hadn’t consciously accelerated while crossing the bridge.
“I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t slowing down,” he said.
Montesano placed three boys in the top ten, with Connor Parkinson taking seventh. That gave the Bulldogs, with 50 points, a 17-point margin over runner-up La Center in the team standings.
“The top three guys, they put in a lot of miles during the summer and it’s paying off,” Bulldog coach James Edwards said.
The bespectacled Steinhauer was an even more decisive winner than Hurd. Her time of 19:22 was 56 seconds better than La Center’s Natasha Lewis.
Mariner’s girls , with 29 points, topped runner-up La Center by 14 points. Only four schools fielded complete girls teams.
Non-Harbor girls took seven of the top eight places. The exception was Aberdeen junior Faith Cardenas, who ran a solid fourth in 21:40.
“Faith is a 1-2-4 (a 100, 200 and 400-meter) runner in track,” Bobcat coach April Meissner noted. “For her to come out in a 3.1-mile race and finish top-four is pretty amazing.”
Ocosta’s Kathryn Anderson and McKenzie Ballo also cracked the top ten by placing ninth and 10th, respectively. The reigning state 2B girls champions, the Wildcats have been unable to field a complete team as yet but are expected to be at full strength for the first time next week.
Wildcat coach Aaron Anderson commended the depth of his boys team. Ocosta’s top four runners finished within nine seconds of each other. Daniel Quinby was cited for a significant time drop.
Hoquiam coach Carly Giles commended Payton Parshall and Alex Tomko for personal bests.
“We got a lot of PRs today,” Giles said.
1. Kyle Hurd (Aberdeen) 16:44. 2. Jake Mustard (Monte) 17:17. 3. Logan Clements (Monte) 17:23. 4. Nate Beed (La Center) 17:41. 5. Josiah Anderson (Woodland) 17:47.
Other Harbor runners in top 40:
7. Connor Parkinson (Monte). 16. Josef Aschenbrenner (Monte). 18. Dayln Barragan (Aberdeen). 21. Carlos Juarez (Hoquiam). 22. Blaine Ross (Monte) 19:01. 25. Oscar Joya (Hoquiam). 28. Drake Mitby (Ocosta). 29. Sam Quinby (Ocosta). 30. Daniel Quinby (Ocosta). 35. Miguel Mendoza (North Beach). 36. Kyle Cox (Monte). 38. Braden Stowers (Monte).
1. Abbie Steinhauer (Mariner) 19:22. 2. Natasha Lewis (LC) 20:18. 3. Natalie Biddix (Woodland) 20:59. 4. Faith Cardenas (Aberdeen) 21:40. 5. Suzy Pace (Mariner) 21:46.
Other Harbor runners in top 30:
9. Kathryn Anderson (Ocosta). 10. McKenzie Ballo (Ocosta). 26. Payton Parshall (Hoquiam). 27. Lucy Roloff (Hoquiam). 30. Jasmin Velasco (Ocosta).