Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Lhamon’

Reiley Araceley was one of 15 CHS cross country runners to letter. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Wolves (l to r) Helen Strelow, Cristina McGrath, and Claire Mayne form the core of a young, very-promising team.

They ran to success.

Year two of the revived Coupeville High School cross country program came to an official close Wednesday night, as the Wolves and coach Luke Samford celebrated with an awards banquet.

Junior Catherine Lhamon, who made it to the state meet, and freshman Mitchell Hall, who just missed the cut, took home girls and boys MVP honors, respectively, while 15 runners exited with letters.

After lying largely dormant for two decades, with a few individual harriers training and traveling with other schools, CHS brought back its in-school cross country program in 2018.

That first season featured seven runners (five boys, two girls), with those numbers more than doubling in year two.

Coupeville loses just one senior, with Chris Ruck graduating, and should continue to add to its roster, as the middle school cross country program has even bigger numbers.


Varsity letter winners:

Aiden Anderson
Reiley Araceley
Cameron Epp
Mitchell Hall
Eli Kastner
Catherine Lhamon
Claire Mayne
Cristina McGrath
Alana Mihill
Chris Ruck
Helen Strelow
Alexander Wasik
Aidan Wilson
Tate Wyman
Sam Wynn

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Coupeville junior Catherine Lhamon got faster as the cross country season progressed, running her best time Saturday at the 1A state meet. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Lhamon and Wolf coach Luke Samford celebrate in Pasco. (Helene Lhamon photo)

Her junior season ended much better than her sophomore campaign.

A year ago, Coupeville’s Catherine Lhamon was the top female runner for a reborn Coupeville High School cross country program.

Peaking at just the right time, she was running wild on the trails, until late-season leg injuries sent her to the sidelines, unable to run in the postseason.

Jump forward a year, and the Wolf harrier program has exploded in the number of athletes participating, with Lhamon back at the front of the pack.

This time, she avoided injuries, allowing her fleet feet to carry her all the way to Pasco, where she ran in the 1A state meet Saturday.

And not only did Lhamon break from the line at the big dance, but she also finished with a bang.

Passing runners down the backstretch, the Wolf junior recorded a season-best time, and the second-fastest mark she’s ever had in a 5,000 meter race.

Her time of 21 minutes, 44.70 seconds was 18.5 seconds faster than her previous top mark this season, and placed her 92nd in a field of 149 runners.

Lhamon was the only CHS athlete to qualify for state this fall, in any sport, and becomes just the third Wolf, and only female, to make it to high school cross country’s biggest race this decade.

She joins Danny Conlisk, who ran at Pasco in 2017, and Tyler King, who won the 1A state title in 2010.

King trained and traveled with Oak Harbor, Conlisk with South Whidbey, as Coupeville’s own cross country program lay dormant for two decades.

It returned in 2018, led by Lhamon, Conlisk and coach Natasha Bamberger, who won the 1985 state title while attending CHS.

Work commitments led to Bamberger stepping away from the program before this season, and she was replaced by college coach Luke Samford.

Coupeville jumped from two girls in 2018 to five this year, while the boys drew a double-digit turnout in year two.

The increased numbers allowed the Wolves to compete in the team standings at meets this season, another huge step as the program rebuilds.

A prime example of what CHS would like to be sits just up the road in Langley, where South Whidbey has a cross country program which sits in the WIAA Hall of Fame.

Saturday, the Falcons sent both boys and girls teams to Pasco, claiming fourth and eighth in the team standings, respectively.

The top individual finisher for South Whidbey was junior Kaia Swegler Richmond, who claimed 6th place.

The 1A girls race got super-dramatic, as defending state champ Naomi Smith of King’s and top contender Alaina Stone of Colville dueled, separated by a single second at the two-mile mark.

Smith, who is one of the fastest high school harriers in the nation, suffered a late fall, however, allowing Stone to run away with a title in the final prep match-up between the speedy seniors.

Adam Briejer of Charles Wright Academy won the boys race, with the Deer Park girls and Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) boys claiming team titles.

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Coupeville’s Catherine Lhamon is off to the state cross country meet next weekend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Catherine Lhamon’s fleet feet are carrying her to Pasco.

The Coupeville High School junior qualified for the 1A state cross country meet with her performance Saturday at the District 1 meet.

Running at South Whidbey High School, Lhamon claimed 31st place with a season-best time on the 5,000 meter course, making the cut for state by four slots.

Wolf freshman Mitchell Hall just missed out on joining her, falling six places shy of qualifying.

Lhamon, who’s the first Wolf harrier to make it to the big dance since Danny Conlisk in 2017, will run Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Sun Willows Golf Course.

Conlisk trained and traveled with South Whidbey, as Coupeville’s once very-successful cross country program lay dormant for two decades.

It was revived in 2018, and the number of runners has tripled in season two.

To make the cut for state, Lhamon listened to Wolf coach Luke Samford, who laid out a plan in which she would surge down the stretch.

“She ran exactly like coach told her to,” said mom Helene Lhamon. “She was 50th or so at the mile and I thought she was hopelessly off pace – but she passed 20 people in the next 1.5 miles.

“I was counting runners, not expecting her yet, when she flew by – and I went running after her with my cowbell cheering — she held in there for the last half mile – and no injuries!!!!”

Coupeville finished 12th in the girls standings and 14th in the boys race.

King’s girls and South Whidbey’s boys won the team crowns, while Naomi Smith of King’s and Isaac Cortes of Granite Falls captured individual titles.

The outlook is bright for the Wolves, as all 12 runners who competed at districts are underclassmen, with two juniors, one sophomore, and nine freshmen on the roster.


Complete Saturday results:


Catherine Lhamon (31st) 22:02.96
Claire Mayne (57th) 23:36.42
Alana Mihill (60th) 23:49.67
Helen Strelow (74th) 24:59.77
Cristina McGrath (80th) 25:51.43


Mitchell Hall (34th) 18:27.08
Aidan Wilson (69th) 19:50.24
Sam Wynn (81st) 20:33.95
Cameron Epp (85th) 20:44.12
Reiley Araceley (89th) 21:00.39
Alexander Wasik (96th) 21:38.96
Aiden Anderson (98th) 21:50.99

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Cristina McGrath is in the zone at the North Sound Conference Cross Country Championships. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Eli Kastner goes about his work with a smile.

Claire Mayne comes pounding down the backstretch, shadowed by teammate Alana Mihill.

The Wolf boys break from the line.

Aidan Wilson is in a hurry to get where he’s going.

Mihill charges for the finish line.

Sam Wynn gets the hair bouncing as he strides across the grass.

Coupeville’s girls attack as a pack.

The trail is never-ending, and so are the photos.

As the Coupeville High School cross country squad winds its way through the final weeks of the season, Lakewood was the destination this past Saturday, with the league title on the line.

Popping up, camera at the ready, was John Fisken, who wandered off of Whidbey for the day in search of photo ops.

The pics above are courtesy him, but are just the start of what he shot.

To see everything, and maybe purchase some glossies for grandma, pop over to:


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Sam Wynn used a big kick at the end Saturday to edge a Granite runner, helping the Coupeville High School boys cross country squad move up in the final standings at the North Sound Conference Championships. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Catherine Lhamon finished 11th, best showing of any Wolf runner.

Never tell them the odds.

Defying their rankings, both Coupeville High School cross country teams did better than expected Saturday at the North Sound Conference Championships.

Running at Lakewood High School, the Wolf girls claimed 3rd behind twin titans King’s and South Whidbey, while the CHS boys out-kicked Granite Falls to snatch 5th.

On the girls side, the Wolves thrived despite the fact they only have five runners, the minimum to qualify for team scoring.

Coupeville compensated by putting all of its harriers into the top 24 finishers, with junior Catherine Lhamon leading the way with an 11th place showing, best for any Wolf, girl or boy, on the day.

In the other race, the Wolves nipped Granite Falls thanks to junior Sam Wynn and freshman Aidan Wilson, who both had “monster kicks” on the last 200 meters to out-gun Granite foes.

“A great effort across the board,” said CHS coach Luke Samford. “We talked all week about how every point would matter, and it sure did today.

“Very proud of what the Wolves did today.”

Coupeville returns to the trail next Saturday, Nov. 2, when it travels to Langley for the District 1/2 meet.

The top five girls teams and 35 fastest individual runners qualify for state, which is run Nov. 9 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

The Wolf boys need a top-four team finish or a top 28 individual finish to punch their ticket.


Complete Saturday results:


Catherine Lhamon (11th) 22:17.1
Claire Mayne (13th) 23:04.3
Alana Mihill (14th) 23:05.3
Helen Strelow (22nd) 24:58.2
Cristina McGrath (24th) 25: 46.2


Mitchell Hall (13th) 18:29.5
Aidan Wilson (31st) 19:33.1
Sam Wynn (33rd) 19:38.7
Cameron Epp (38th) 19:55.5
Aiden Anderson (43rd) 20:31.3
Reiley Araceley (48th) 20:50.0
Alexander Wasik (53rd) 21:20.0
Tate Wyman (63rd) 21:57.0
Eli Kastner (67th) 22:37.2
Chris Ruck (68th) 22:37.9

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