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CHS cross country runners (l to r) Helen Strelow, Erica McGrath, and Catherine Lhamon prepare for a race Saturday. (Photos by Elizabeth Bitting)

Coupeville cross country’s home.

Ready and rarin’ to go.

The best backdrop in Washington state.

One last run together.

With Coupeville High School launching an official return to sports Monday, the open coaching season came to an end for all Wolf teams this weekend.

Over the course of several months, coaches at both the high school and middle school were able to work with their athletes under strict pandemic rules.

CHS athletes will kick off their return to semi-normalcy with spring sports, with baseball, softball, girls tennis, and track up first.

Cross country, along with other traditional fall sports, is scheduled to compete March 29 to May 8.

With compressed seasons, limited access to fields, and likely a shortage of available refs, middle school athletes will likely not have conventional athletic seasons this school year.

CHS/CMS Athletic Director Willie Smith is working on various options, however, and still hopes to give CMS students a chance to compete in some way.

Saturday marked the end of the road for the CHS and CMS cross country runners working together, and the athletes and coaches Elizabeth Bitting and Jon Gabelein went out in style.

Capping workouts which started back in the summer, the Wolves had 17 runners show up at Fort Casey State Park for an honest-to-goodness in-person meet.

Masks in place, at least for the start and finish, as dictated by the state health department, Coupeville’s harriers tackled the course with gusto.

“Each of those athletes set a PR for themselves!,” Bitting said. “The snow made some sections a bit muddy and slippery, we had a few falls, but all enjoyed what we hope to dub ‘our home course.’

“We heard lots of praise for the course and parents couldn’t get over the backdrop their athletes were running against,” she added.

“The Olympic mountains, the Puget Sound, the ferry coming and going, the lighthouse and the big guns. Who could ask for anything more?”

While she was proud of the 17 Wolves who competed Saturday, Bitting was equally thrilled with the fact she had 40 different runners take part in the open coaching season.

“We are so proud of each and every athlete who participated!”

 

Complete Saturday results:

 

Middle School (1.5 mile-course)

 

GIRLS:

Gabby Gebhard (1st) 14:10
Ayden Wyman (2nd) 14:18

 

BOYS:

Thomas Strelow (1st) 12:13
Jack Porter (2nd) 12:23
Nic Wasik (3rd) 12:24
Johnny Porter (4th) 13:58
Jack Farrell (5th) 14:33
Dylan Robinett (6th) 18:38

 

High School (2.96-mile course):

 

GIRLS:

Catherine Lhamon (1st) 25:20
Helen Strelow (2nd) 28:29
Erica McGrath (3rd) DNF

 

BOYS:

Aidan Wilson (1st) 21:32
Mitchell Hall (2nd) 21:40
Hank Milnes (3rd) 24:22
Reiley Araceley (4th) 24:50
Alex Wasik (5th) 27:48
Tate Wyman (6th) 30:55

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