On a windy, rainy Pacific Northwest Fall afternoon, the Bush Cross Country teams found their stride at Saturday’s Emerald Sound Conference Championships at Granite Falls High School, with the girls team winning the championship, securing the program’s fourth League title. The boys team also finished strong with a competitive third place finish.
On their way to winning the championship, the girls continued their trend of strong all-around team racing, with nine runners finishing inside the top 25. The 2019 Emerald City League Rookie of the Year Abby G. ‘22 led the way with a time of 20 minutes, 48.12 seconds, good for seventh place on the 5,000-meter course. Kathryn F. ‘23, Ruby S. ‘23, Romy M. ‘24 and Dylan C. ‘22 weren’t far behind, in ninth, eleventh, thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively. This completed a season sweep of Conference events for the Blazer girls team, as they beat out King’s by eight points, and third-place Overlake by 61.
On the boys side, the Blazers finished in a close third. King’s grabbed the title (58 points), followed by Northwest (61) and the Blazers (69). Eric C. ‘23 led the Blazers with a time of 18:01.91 in fifth place, with Amare F. ‘23 right behind in sixth (18:05.22).
“For the first time since I’ve been coach, both the boys and girls went into the (Emerald City) League Championship as competitive teams, with both in the mix to win the whole thing,” said Head Coach James Batey. “We have many of the top teams in the state in our league and the girls were able to unseat King’s, who has been ranked as high as third in the State, and the boys were within eleven points of a league championship.”
While these are huge accomplishments for a program that has experienced immense growth this season, Batey emphasized that they are just getting started.
“It was a really powerful experience, but we keep reminding the team that we’re not done yet,” James said. “We’re not satisfied with just getting to State. We want to be competitive there and take our program to the next level. We’re excited for the challenges to come.”
Blazer Cross Country heads to South Whidbey High School for the District Championships on Saturday, October 30. The Girls race begins at 11:30 a.m., with the boys kicking off at 12:25 p.m.