Highlighted by a pair of top-three finishes, Sequim’s girls varsity team took third place at the 45th Salt Creek Invitational on Sept. 16, while SHS senior Colby Ellefson won the boys’ varsity race by nearly 20 seconds.
Sequim senior Kaitlyn Bloomenrader covered the 3-mile course in 20:30.2 to place second and junior teammate Dan Hulstedt was third in 20:48.1, only behind course champ Natalie Oathout, a Klahowya junior who finished in 18:22.
Bloomenrader said she was in a traffic accident two days earlier and her and her coaches weren’t sure if she was going to be able to run at Salt Creek.
“I feel OK. Since I’m a senior, I want to get in as many races as I can,” Bloomenrader said. “I thought I would just cruise it, then it became a little more than a cruise.”
Hulstedt, meanwhile, ran in her first varsity cross-country meet for the Wolves.
“She was right behind me; I’m pretty excited for her,” Bloomenrader said of Hulstedt.
Port Angeles sophomore Leia Larson was fourth (20:53).
“I didn’t quite get my PR [personal record], but I felt pretty good,” Larson said.
Sequim placed third in the team standings with 70 points, behind Klahowya (36) and North Kitsap (56). Five teams qualified to score: Sammamish was fourth (89) and Olympic fifth (103).
Sequim’s Liberty Mavy (24:28.4) and Lilly Despain (24:41.9) placed 23rd and 24th, while teammates Birdie Pyeatt (25:11.2) and Mia Kriner (25:20.5) were 28th and 29th.
On the boys’ side, senior Colby Ellefson out-paced the field for a 19-second win in the varsity race with a 16:03.2 mark, with Olympic senior Samuel Bonsell in second.
“I was looking at Athletic.net and the other runners’ times and I thought I had a shot [of winning],” Ellefson said.
Sequim’s boys, who placed sixth out of seven teams, saw Sean Southard place 22nd in 18:50.5, Reid Randall 26th in 18:52.1, Adrian Osborne 31st in 19:02.4, and Malachi Byrne 34th in 19:46.2.
Ari Skov was Sequim’s top junior varsity runner, placing seventh in 20:25.
A pair of shorthanded Sequim cross country squads saw few athletes compete at the first Olympic meet of the season, held Sept. 13 in Bremerton.
On the girls’ side, Sequim didn’t have enough runners to score as a team but saw Hulstedt start her league season on a solid note, racing to a fifth place finish behind a trio of Bainbridge runners and Bremerton’s Salleen Mattivi.
Hulstedt, a junior, finished the 2-mile course in 13:32. Teammate Aspen Goldner was 30th, finishing in 16:02, and Pyeatt was 36th, in 17:02.
The Wolves had just two competitors in the boys’ varsity race, with senior Solas McGruther taking 26th in 12:19 and freshman teammate Osborne placing 29th in 12:29.
In the boys’ junior varsity race, freshman Zach Sterrett was the SHS’s top finisher, placing 64th in 15:51.
Bainbridge swept all three races, bringing a combined 70 athletes to the league meet.
The Wolves host their lone Olympic League meet of the season on Sept. 20 at Voice of America park.
Sequim is at Bremerton on Sept. 27 and the 27th John Payne XC Invitational in University Place on Sept. 30.