Saturday, September 17, 2016

Blackhawks varsity boys capture Highlander title

Before the season, Chaney High cross-country co-trainer Derek Slaughter said that one simple message for seniors varsity boys Blackhawks.

"I told the seniors this year before, so as not to leave any unfinished business in this year," Slaughter said.

So far, so good. Led by an eighth place finish and tight packing of scoring runners senior Drake Johnson Blackhawks Jersey Varsity Boys powered their way to the team title at the annual Highlander Invitational last Saturday at Shadle Park in Spokane.

Johnson posted a time of 13 minutes, 18.2 seconds, edging the central valley of Ryan Hunter on the tape. Johnson was followed by Matt Christianson in the 11th, Kaleb Lerch in the 15th and Jack Peabody in 18th placing 1 - 4, a gap of 56.2 seconds. In contrast to the other, where it meets the top five runners to score for the team, only four top-scoring in boys Highlander events.

Cheney took first place with 38 points, followed by Chelan with 47 and 53. Central Valley with fellow contender Great Northern League Cheney Pullman was fourth with 62 points.

Blackhawks good results do not stop there. In a sign of things to come, first-year boys just missed the title race will meet in the opening Invitational, finishing in second place in Pullman by two points, 51-53.

Bas Holland turned in the highest place of all Blackhawk on Saturday, posting the fourth place of 132 runners in 14: 04.7. It was followed by JT Gasper in the 16th and Andres Margraf in the 17th, with the completion of the first year, Charles Cindric scored 22.

In other action boys, Tucker Cunningham led the sophomores to the team to finish in ninth place, entering 22 in 14: 36.4, while Patrick Purviance was 49th to lead the younger boys, who finished in 14th place. Two-time protection 2A state champion Isaiah Rigaud won the tournament wheelchair over time 9: 18.1

On the girls' side, Hannah Spakousky led to the Varsity team finished in seventh place with a time of 16: 37.6, finishing 28th overall. It was followed by younger Brette Draper Fellow in 35th, the elderly and Alexis Alecia Brooks in 47th and 57th respectively, while Jolene Whitley Jr. in 66th.

Slaughter said "standout performance" for the girls came from freshman Megan Habegger. Freshmen led his team to sixth place, coming in 12th in the overall standings with a time of 17:46, the sign said Slaughter would have been in the mid-point package Cheney, when she competed with the Varsity.

In addition, as the freshmen were competing Alexia Batchelor (37th), Maisie short (44th), Ryleigh Bowes (47th), Tristan Mayfield (62 th) and Tess Vasecka (63 minutes). Competing in the junior varsity race were Megan Christianson (68th), Shannen Gladden (85th) and Barbara Martinez (193).

"We had 51 athletes competing for the pride of the CHS," Slaughter said. "Because returning running (2.5 mile) course, 95 percent of them PR'd since last year."

Slaughter praised the efforts of runners last Saturday, noting that girls Varsity all set new PRS evidence of the hard work they put in during the summer.

"Their goal is to be competitive with the Pullman," he said. "They're really pushing for regionals and states, and I know that Pullman is a good marker of the team at the state level."

Cheney takes a break from competition this week, returning to the course on Wednesday, September 21 for their GNL knife in Clarkston before the trip on Saturday, September 24, in Missoula, Mont. for the Mountain West Classic, at the University of Montana.

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