A pair of Sequim running aces capped their high school careers at the prep pinnacle.
SHS’s Colby Ellefson and Kaitlyn Bloomenrader joined more than 1,000 high school harriers at the Washington state cross country finals at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco on Nov. 4.
Ellefson, competing in his third state meet, finished the 5,000-meter course in 16:37.2 and placed 27th overall in the boys 2A division. (as a sophomore, he placed 51st in 17:26).
“Colby had a solid state run,” SHS assistant coach BJ Schade said.
The finish was just off his personal best, Schade noted, but that the state course is a difficult one to set a personal record.
Bloomenrader, competing in her third state met, clocked in at 21:07.3 in the 152-competitor race to take 61st overall. She was 20th as a sophomore and 49th as a junior.
“[Kaitlyn] seemed a little off; even her first mile was a bit off pace at 6:24,” Schade said. “Hopefully [she] will be able to put some time in preparing for track, where her speed and athleticism are more suited to the shorter, faster races like the 800.”
Dawn Hulstedt, a Sequim High junior, was scheduled to compete but after missing several meets this season with a quad injury coaches encouraged her to skip the state meet and focus on the track season.
“She tried running at league and district, and even though she qualified we decided it would be best if she skipped state to heal up,” Schade said. “She was such a hard worker and put so much into her offseason training it was really disappointing to see her season end this way.”
Hulstedt set a personal best on the Sequim home course at 21:30, a very slow course, Schade noted. “I think had she finished the season healthy she would have had a good chance to break 20:00,” he said.
Sehome, Anacortes and Ellensburg — in that order — dominated the class 2A meet. Sehome’s boys tallied 62 points to take the title, followed by Anacortes (86) and Ellensburg (105). On the girls’ side, Sehome dominated with 40 team points, with Anacortes second (87) and Ellensburg in third (131).
As for next season, Schade said Sequim’s boys look to build on what was a building year. Reid Randal, Adrian Osborne, and Bowen Zhu — each freshman — each made “huge improvements over the season and, with their work ethic and competitiveness, could be the core of a very good team in the next couple of years,” Schade said.
For the Sequim girls, Hulstedt will be a senior next season and, Schade noted, “it is going to take some of the other athletes to step up next year to fill the spots left by our graduating seniors.”