One of the state’s top boys teams is looking for yet another run at the state 2A tourney while a rebuilding girls team has a chance to make a marked improvement on their fifth place finish in the Olympic League’s 2A rankings.
Led by Murray Bingham, Sequim’s senior-laden boys cross country squad is seeking a return to the state 2A finals. After placing third at state in 2015 and 11th in 2016, Sequim’s boys — despite placing third in the West Central District — finished 16th at state last fall.
Sequim coach Harold Huff said he hoped last year’s relatively disappointing finish lights a proverbial fire under his returning racers.
Coming off a strong track and field season in the spring, Bingham — who was sixth at last year’s league meet and ninth at districts — put in a good amount off offseason work, Huff said.
“Murray ran a tremendous schedule over the summer,” Huff said, noting Bingham tallied more than 500 miles of training between school sessions.
Alec Shingleton, a fellow senior who placed sixth at districts last fall, also had some solid offseason training, Huff said.
“Everyone (else) has got some work to do,”he said, but added: “I like to think we have a chance to win league.”
Also back are key seniors Liam Byrne, Jazen Bartee, Jakob Pyeatt and Fischer Jensen.
New to the club is Darren Salazar, a sophomore who earned district berths in the 200-meter dash and two relay teams, one of which (4×400) qualified for state.
“He’s coming along quickly,” Huff said of Salazar.
Incoming freshman Koda Robinson has been running 35 miles per week and looks committed to a strong season, SHS assistant coach Mike Cobb said
Sequim’s girls squad gets an influx of new talent and return nearly each runner from last year’s team that placed fifth at the league meet and 16th at districts.
“I’m excited about the girls team; we’ve got a base now,” Cobb said. “They’re looking really good.”
Back are juniors Vita Olson and Emily Silva, sophomore Jessica German and senior Kaitlyn Viada.
“I’m pretty happy with all the girls,” Huff said at a preseason workout at Robin Hill Farm.
Looking to make a big difference on the roster is incoming freshman Riley Pyeatt, who posted some of the top 1.5- and two-mile times in the state as an eighth-grader for Sequim Middle School’s cross country squad and has equally impressive marks on the track.
“Riley is driven to win,” Cobb said.
Sequim coaches said other additions such as freshmen Aidyn Shingleton and Katelyn Glass and sophomore Taylor Coleman give the Wolves young depth they haven’t had in recent years.
“All of them are solid and we have plenty of time (to develop them),” Cobb said.
If the youngsters stick around until they are juniors and seniors, Cobb said the SHS girls have a shot at qualifying for state.
Sequim at at the 41st Salt Creek Invitational in Port Angeles on Sept. 15.
The Wolves take on Port Angeles and Klahowya in Silverdale on Sept. 19 before traveling to Oregon for the Three-Course Challenge in Seaside on Sept. 22.
Sequim coach Harold Huff said he is particularly looking forward to the 23rd Curtis Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 29, because it’s set at at the Chamber Creek Properties in University Place — the same site at the West Central District meet in late October.