With Arlington’s top boys runners sweeping the top five, the Eagles won the Wesco North 3A Cross Country Championship with a perfect score of 15 points during a race held Oct. 23 at the Arlington Airport. 

“I was really proud of all the guys,” Arlington cross country coach Mike Shierk said. “They had a great week of practice.” 

Arlington’s Aiden Emerson, a senior, claimed the fastest time of the championships running the 5,000-meter course in 15:51, edging Luke Schmidt from Shorecrest who ran 15:52. 

“Aiden got by him by a whisker,” Shierk said. The meet included the Wesco 3A North Championships, Wesco 3A North Championships and the Wesco 4A Championships. All runners competed at the same time.

“It’s fun to go head-to-head with your neighbors,” Shierk said. 

Arlington senior Brandon Moore placed second with a time of 15:56, Senior Kiyoshi Hall placed third with a time of 16:23, junior Ryan Rushton placed fourth with a time of 16:24, Kellen Langford placed fifth with a time of 16:50 and Myles Murray placed sixth with a time of 17:03. 

“They just go out there and let it rip,” Shierk said. “It’s a credit to all of the work they’ve done.” 

He complimented the effort of sophomore Andrew Schmitz who hadn’t run in the team’s top seven until Saturday’s championships. He placed ninth with a time of 17:20.

Arlington’s girls team also took home the Wesco North championship

“The girls scored 34 points and really took it to them,” Shierk said. The girls team got a good start earlier in the week winning a tiebreak against Stanwood. 

With five runners in the top 10, Shierk said “They were a tight unit.” 

Senior Sophia Cushman placed fourth with a time of 19:57, senior Sophie Gaudin placed second with a time of 20:22, junior Jaiden Cochran placed seventh with a time of 20:51, senior Olivia Wyatt placed eighth with a time of 20:57 and freshman Brooke Henkin placed 10th with a time of 21:15. 

“If one of those girls weren’t on their game, we would’ve placed second,” Shierk said. Stanwood placed second in the championships scoring 42 points. The top five runners from each team count toward overall results. Scores are based on the runners' place when they finish. 

The Wesco Championships took place for the first time at the Arlington Airport. Arlington’s boys and girls cross country teams won the Wesco championships in 2019, Shierk said. 

Marysville Getchell’s boys cross country team placed sixth in the Wesco 3A North Championships and the girls placed fifth. 

Getchell runner Winuka Kulatunge placed 12th in the championships running 17:36. Marysville Getchell cross country coach Randall Edens said Kulatunge is “right on the cusp” of qualifying for state. He is in the mix of about 15 guys throughout the district competing for about five spots. 

He also said junior Brandon Emery, 18:09, and  freshman Joseph Godding, 18:56, ran personal bests Saturday. 

“It’s kind of nice to build up momentum for districts and next year,” Edens said. 

For the Getchellg girls, the times of their top six runners were about 40 seconds apart, Edens said. 

“We just want that group to collectively move up,” Edens said. 

Sophomore runner Avery Kleinsasser had the best time for the Charger girls, placing 20th running in 22:11. Edens said Saturday marked the first time Kleinsasser was Marysville Getchell’s number-one runner. 

He added that junior Cassandra Smith, 22:33, set her personal record, which was improved by at least 30 seconds. Jennifer Garbiec improved her time by two minutes over the course of the season. 

Marysville Pilchuck saw several runners have their personal bests during the Wesco North Championships. 

“We have a smaller team than most. We’re small but mighty,” Marysville Pilchuck cross country coach Cali Burnett said. The team is trying to get runners under the 20-minute mark.

Sophomore Tyee Eliason, 20:12, and sophomore Leeto Perez, 21:03 set personal bests during the championships. 

“We like to see that from our younger runners,” Burnett said. 

She added junior Rachel Turral, 22:52, ran a season best and sophomore Cana Cross, 24:09, has consistently improved her time week to week. 

Up next for cross country runners is the District 1 Championships, which take place Saturday, Oct. 30, at Lakewood High School. The state cross country meet takes place Saturday, Nov. 6, at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. 

“We’re so excited for the kids because last year, they couldn’t do this,” Shierk said of the shortened cross country season that took place the previous school year.

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