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Mercer Island cross country team beats old and new rivals

Island runners Lindsay Benster, left, and Phoebe Merritt lead the pack around the first turn of the girls cross country race against Issaquah and Garfield at Island Crest Park on Mercer Island last Wednesday. The Islanders won the race. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Island runners Lindsay Benster, left, and Phoebe Merritt lead the pack around the first turn of the girls cross country race against Issaquah and Garfield at Island Crest Park on Mercer Island last Wednesday. The Islanders won the race.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island cross country team followed up its big win at the Edmonds Invitational to open the season with an in-league victory over former rival Issaquah, which moved to 4A, and new rival Garfield. The boys team won its meet by placing four runners in the top seven with sub-20-minute times. Islander Evan Sadler won the race with a time of 19:36. Teammate Quinn Chasan crossed the line three seconds later in second place. Islanders Tyler Benster (19:48) and Aaron Elefson (19:48) tied for sixth place overall. Islander James Kashima was the final runner to score for the team in 12th place (20:04).

Girls win big

The Mercer Island girls team won by a larger margin than the boys, with seven of the top eight times during the varsity race.

Islander Lindsay Benster led the pack, taking first place with a time of 18:59. Phoebe Merritt finished second for the Islanders (19:09), while Lauren Davis was third (25:10). Molly O’Callahan placed fifth overall (20:29) and Haley Piper was sixth (20:42), rounding out the scoring for the Islanders.

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