They’re off and runnin’

  • David Pan<br>Enterprise sports editor
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 10:50am

EDMONDS — The 2004 cross country season looks extremely promising for a pair of Edmonds-Woodway runners.

Derry Betts and Kate Southcote-Want kicked off the year with a pair of strong efforts at the 40th annual Edmonds District cross country invitational Sept. 11 at Edmonds Stadium.

Betts finished third overall in the No. 1 boys flight, completing the 2.1-mile course in a personal-best time of 11:03. Eisenhower’s Robbie Barany won the race with a 10:55.

Southcote-Want took sixth place in the No. 1 girls flight with a personal-best time of 13:36. Walla Walla’s Janel Sislow finished first in 13:18.

Betts and Southcote-Want were the top individual finishers among the four Edmonds District teams.

Eisenhower won the boys championship, while Snohomish captured the girls title. The Edmonds-Woodway boys took fourth, while their counterparts were seventh in the girls competition.

Betts tried to keep pace with Barany and had him within his sights until the end.

“I was shooting for the one spot of course,” Betts said. “The whole race I stood back there. I felt I could catch up to him. I thought I held my position pretty well. I’m happy with it.”

The Edmonds-Woodway senior missed his junior season of track because of a stress fracture. Betts spent the summer logging some significant miles to prepare for the cross country season.

“This is a pretty big momentum builder,” he said of his third-place finish. “I’m hoping to get top 10 at state individually. I’d like to get our team to state again.”

The Warriors return some good experience among their top five runners but the rest of the team is largely untested.

“I don’t have a huge amount of depth, but I do have a pretty solid five on the guys’ side,” said Edmonds-Woodway coach Regina Joyce.

Betts, who advanced to the state meet last year, expects to have some company in Pasco.

“There’s quite a bit of experience on the team,” he said. “Our top five is looking pretty strong … give us a couple more races and we’ll be doing good.”

Led by Southcote-Want, the Warrior girls are shaping up to be one of the strongest groups in recent years, according to Joyce.

Southcote-Want was just happy to start the season. The best part of the race for her was the finish.

“I felt I had a good race especially at the end,” Southcote-Want said. “I had a good finishing kick this time.”

Joyce has high expectations for her sophomore standout.

“She can definitely go top 10 at state,” Joyce said of Southcote-Want. “She’s so laid back. She had a solid run today, not a great run. It’s early in the season. I think for her the longer the race, maybe the better, although she does have some pretty good footspeed.”

The Edmonds-Woodway girls have the talent to make a run at state, according to Southcote-Want, who added that the future of the program also is looking very promising.

“I really want to send a team to state,” Southcote-Want said. “We have a lot of depth. I think we can challenge for that (state). We’ve got a lot of new kids. I think in the next couple of years they’re going to go much faster … with experience and training we’re going to have a good team this year.”

Joining Southcote-Want in the No. 1 girls flight was Mountlake Terrace’s Estelle Kills Right, who finished ninth.

Kills Right is coming off a successful track season in which she took 15th overall in the 3,200-meter race at state.

“It’s good for her to get a race under her belt and get the season started,” said Mountlake Terrace coach David LeWarne. “She finished up the track season really well.”

The Edmonds Invitational was the first varsity race for many on the Hawks boys squad.

Mountlake Terrace’s top two individuals from a year ago, Corey Preugschat and James Hudson, both graduated, leaving behind a largely inexperienced group.

“A lot of them were around last year so they kind of know what it’s about,” LeWarne said of his team. “They were excited to train. They’re excited about the season. They’re real anxious for the season to get going.”

Mountlake Terrace’s Andrew Henning finished ninth overall in the No. 1 boys flight.

The rest of the group handled their first major invitational well, LeWarne said.

“We had some young guys really look good, guys who were JV last year stepped up and did well,” LeWarne said. “You come here and you can be so intimidated. They were ready for it. There wasn’t a problem of making that transition of being a good JV runner to the varsity.”

The Meadowdale boys team faces similar issues. The Mavericks have one state returner in Chris Kratz, but the rest of the squad is new.

Meadowdale’s Derek Huff finished 13th in the No. 1 boys flight.

“Four out of our top five guys are sophomores,” said Meadowdale coach Kris Maraveller. “Our boys varsity doesn’t have a whole lot of varsity experience from last year. We’re really young.”

The Lynnwood boys also are rebuilding, though they bring back an experienced runner in senior Vince Kinney, who did not compete on Saturday.

The Royal girls lost Natalya Boyko, their No. 1 runner from a year ago, but do have some depth.

Lynnwood coach Michele Waddel was pleased with Lizzie Smith’s performance. Smith dropped more than two minutes from last year.

“The girls are looking strong,” Waddel said. “We are missing our No. 1 from last year … but our pack looks pretty good.”

A couple of the Mavericks did not run last weekend but once they return, the girls team should shape up nicely, Maraveller said.

Meadowdale’s top finisher was Eryn Jones, who placed seventh in the No. 1 girls flight.

“The girls team will be stronger than it’s been in a while,” Maraveller said.

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