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Freshman Mitchell Hall had the best performance out of 13 CHS cross country runners Saturday at a 43-school meet in Bellingham. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Back, l to r, Cameron Epp, Mitchell Hall, Eli Kastner, Aiden Anderson, coach Luke Samford. Front: Aidan Wilson, Sam Wynn, Reiley Araceley, Tate Wyman.

Back: Alana Mihill, Catherine Lhamon. Front: Cristina McGrath, Helen Strelow, Claire Mayne.

They had plenty of company.

Coupeville High School sent 13 runners to the Gear Up Sports Northwest Preview/Sehome Invitational in Bellingham Saturday, and those Wolves found themselves surrounded on all sides.

There were 43 schools represented at the meet, with more than 100 runners in each of nine races.

The day’s competition was divided up by class, with freshmen running against each other, and on through sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Coupeville’s top performance came from freshmen Mitchell Hall, who covered the two-mile course in 12 minutes, 46.64 seconds.

He was one of eight Wolf boys to compete — six of those harriers are freshmen — while the CHS girls sent five to the starting line.

Coupeville is right back at it next Saturday, when they travel a much-shorter distance.

The destination will be South Whidbey High School, and the event will be the 41st edition of the Carl Westling Invitational.

 

Saturday’s results:

 

GIRLS:

Freshmen:

Claire Mayne (57th) 15:46.87
Helen Strelow (58th) 15:47.73
Cristina McGrath (100th) 18:01.51 *PR*

Sophomores:

Alana Mihill (43rd) 15:27.00

Juniors:

Catherine Lhamon (30th) 14:44.49

 

BOYS:

Freshmen:

Mitchell Hall (55th) 12:46.64
Aidan Wilson (77th) 13:15.83
Reiley Araceley (104th) 13:44.76
Cameron Epp (111th) 14:00.36 *PR*
Tate Wyman (114th) 14:03.74
Aiden Anderson (134th) 14:52.33

Juniors:

Sam Wynn (106th) 13:05.14
Eli Kastner (145th) 16:29.42

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Coupeville High School cross country coach Natasha Bamberger hangs out with Danny Conlisk at Saturday’s 5000+ runner Nike Hole in the Wall Invitational. (Photo by Dawnelle Conlisk)

The Coupeville Middle School squad, 15 runners, and one coach, strong. (Photos by Morgan White)

Allison Nastali gets cheers from a teammate as she flies across the course.

The Wolves arrived at Lakewood High School early, then hung out in the fog.

“OK, here’s the plan … we’re gonna run really fast, and they’re not gonna catch us.”

There is big, and then there is BIG.

Saturday was all about the capital letters, as 22 Coupeville Middle and High School cross country runners participated in the biggest harrier invite on the West coast.

The Nike Hole in the Wall Cross Country Invitational at Lakewood High School featured more than 5,000 runners, with schools from Alaska, Oregon, California and British Columbia joining their Washington counterparts.

“The atmosphere was ELECTRIC!!!!!,” was how CHS coach Natasha Bamberger, a lifelong big-race runner, described the scene.

The day started early, with the Wolves on the bus and on the road by 6 AM.

“It was an EARLY start!,” said CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting. “We had quiet time on the ride out and most fell asleep.

“Once at the big event it was quiet and foggy, as we were the first of many schools to arrive.”

After suffering in the fall weather at their last meet, Wolf runners came prepared this time around, bringing gloves, running tights and long sleeve undershirts.

The middle school squad sent 15 runners into the heat of battle, while the CHS team numbered seven strong, just missing Kyle Burnett, who was unable to attend the event.

While the Wolves were a speck in a vast sea of runners, both Coupeville coaches were thrilled with what they saw on the course.

“It was an amazing opportunity to compete against all these schools our first year,” Bitting said. “It makes me so proud to see our runners pushing themselves, driving their elbows, extending their strides, passing runners and always having a smile on their face.

“What coach wouldn’t be proud!”

While all 15 middle school runners set PR’s, maybe the biggest story was Helen Strelow, who carved two minutes and seven seconds off her previous best.

The high school runners were just as on point, with Bamberger calling it “the team’s best race yet,” in which “every runner rose to the occasion.”

At the front of the high school pack, sophomore Catherine Lhamon smashed her PR by almost a minute and half, dropping from 22:03 to 20:35.

“My goal has been to get her under 20 for the season, which she and her mom thought would be impossible,” Bamberger said. “She is well on her way in the next couple of weeks!!

“All the way down the line again with PR’s for the team!”

 

Complete Saturday results:

 

High School (5000 meters):

 

GIRLS:

Catherine Lhamon 20:35.3
Alana Mihill 23:54.4

 

BOYS:

Danny Conlisk 18:04.00
Sam Wynn 19:44.9
Uriah Kastner 22:34.40
TJ Rickner 22:41.60
Chris Ruck 24:29.60

 

Middle School (1.7 miles):

 

GIRLS:

Carolyn Lhamon 12:05.7
Claire Mayne 12:27.5
Helen Strelow 12:33.0
Erica McGrath 13:43.7
Cristina McGrath 14:17.0
Sam McMahon 14:27.3
Allison Nastali 14:29.1

 

BOYS:

Cole White 11:07.1
Hank Milnes 11:16.4
Aiden Anderson 11:54.6
Tate Wyman 12:17.3
Justin Wilkinson 12:20.6
Hayden Harry 12:56.9
Andrew Williams 13:23.5
Alex Clark 15:31.8

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TJ Rickner and his fellow CHS harriers ran Saturday at a 14-team meet in Shoreline. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The trail was littered with PR’s.

Running Saturday at the 14-team King’s Roller Coaster Trail Run in Shoreline, Coupeville High School’s cross country runners brought great joy to their coach.

“Super excited about the team today!,” said Natasha Bamberger. “All the way down the list Coupeville runners getting their personal bests today.

“The team has been working very hard and they are starting to see the results of their hard work pay off,” she added. “It was an exciting day! I could not be happier with their results!”

While Coupeville’s top runner, Danny Conlisk, was missing in action as he recovers from a bout with illness, two Wolf sophomore shone brightly.

Zinging across the three-mile course, Catherine Lhamon dropped nearly a minute from her previous best, while Sam Wynn shaved almost 50 seconds off his PR.

Both are putting in the work during practices, and it’s paying off big time.

Catherine’s goal is to break 20 minutes and she is well on her way to achieving that goal,” Bamberger said. “Sam crushed his PR; this is really good for him to be hitting his PR this early in the season.

“On Thursday we were running hill repeats, and Sam missed his PR last week by three seconds,” she added. “I could tell all week he was working extra hard because he really wants that PR.

“When everyone was done with their seven hill repeats, Sam said, you know what, I’m doing an extra!!”

 

Complete results:

 

GIRLS-varsity:

Catherine Lhamon (13th) 22:02
Alana Mihill (34th) 24:34

 

BOYS-varsity:

Sam Wynn (37th) 19:39

 

BOYS-JV:

Uriah Kastner (40th) 22:53
Kyle Burnett 
(50th) 23:43
TJ Rickner 
(51st) 23:45
Chris Ruck 
(57th) 24:07

 

**Coupeville Middle School runners also competed in Shoreline, but times haven’t been posted due to technical issues. A separate story will run here on Coupeville Sports when times are released.**

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Catherine Lhamon finished 15th out of 121 sophomore girls at Saturday’s Sehome Invitational. (Helene Lhamon photo)

Catherine Lhamon is on the attack.

Running in just her second high school cross country meet Saturday, the Coupeville sophomore sparkled at the epic 36-team Sehome Invitational.

With so many teams in attendance, the event broke its races down by classes, and yet almost every one of the eight varsity heats featured 100 or more runners.

Lhamon came pounding down the back stretch, picking off 10 runners over the final mile of her two-mile race to claim 15th out of 121 runners.

The speedy Wolf hit the tape in 13 minutes, 59.95 seconds.

The massive meet drew in teams from every classification in Washington state, with all three Whidbey Island schools making the trip.

Other Coupeville results:

Freshman girls — Alana Mihill (33rd) 15:42.79

Sophomore boys — Sam Wynn (72nd) 12:48.23; TJ Rickner (120th) 14:10.90

Junior boys — Chris Ruck (117th) 15:52.05

Senior boys — Danny Conlisk (53rd) 12:26.31; Kyle Burnett (91st) 16:30.07

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   Freshman Sam Wynn has four goals, putting him #3 on Coupeville’s scoring chart. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They’re scoring at a record-setting pace.

With 39 goals through 10 games, the Coupeville High School boys soccer squad is on target to put up its best offensive numbers in at least a decade.

Having peppered goalies for five more scores since last time we discussed the subject, the current Wolves have tied the 2010 team, and are just nine back of the high-powered ’16 squad.

The numbers for the nine CHS seasons the Olympic League web site has recorded:

2010 – 39 goals
2011 – 30
2012 – 27
2013 – 15
2014 – 22
2015 – 37
2016 – 48
2017 – 26
2018 – 39 and counting

Coupeville (3-1 in Olympic League play, 4-4-2 overall) has five conference games left, and then likely heads to the playoffs.

If the Wolves maintain their current scoring pace, they would obliterate the mark set by the ’16 team.

But, of course, you have to play the games first, and the schedule ahead is a bit tricky.

Two of those regular-season matches are against Klahowya, which has surrendered just six goals this season, none against 1A Olympic League foes.

But, one of those tilts comes against Chimacum, a team that has been shredded for 62 goals in six games.

So, it may balance itself out.

Scoring stats through Apr. 15:

Derek Leyva – 16
Aram Leyva
– 7
Sam Wynn
– 4
Pedro Gamarra
– 3
William Nelson
– 3
Ethan Spark
– 2
James Wood
– 2
Chris Cernick
– 1
Jonathan Partida
– 1

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