Sadler takes 16th, MIXC girls seventh in state

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The state cross country meet was different than the past two weeks for Mercer Island runners. Unlike the district and KingCo meets at Lake Sammamish State Park during the previous two weeks, the team had to travel four hours east to Pasco and run in dry, warm weather. But just like the previous two weeks, the girls team and boys runners all performed to their peak.

“We had a great weekend and got an awesome effort from all the kids,” said Mercer Island cross country coach Erica Hill.

Girls place seventh

The Mercer Island girls cross country team, still battling a bit of the flu bug, placed seventh overall. The Islanders took seventh by scoring 170 placing-points as Newport took the state title. But the most amazing thing about Mercer Island was how well the runners stayed together and pushed each other.

“We just had a really strong pack this year,” said Islander Haley Piper, who finished the race in 32nd place with a time of 20:43. “We all ran around the same time.”

To be exact, all seven of Mercer Island’s runners finished the race separated by only 43 seconds. The next closest team was separated by 1:30.

Gabbi Goyette was the first Mercer Island runner across the line with a time of 20:40, good enough for 29th overall. Lauren Davis placed 60th for the Islanders with a time of 21:16 and Lauren Sadler finished 61st with a time of 21:16.

Phoebe Merritt ran the course in a time of 21:26 for the Islanders, finishing 73rd overall, while Alison Ulie placed 81st (21:31) and Molly O’Callahan placed 94th (21:51).

“I think we will do really well next year since we have six of our seven state runners back,” said Piper.

Boys place two

The boys team only sent two runners to state but both finished in the top 40 in state.

“It was a really strong day for all of our athletes and they really came through,” said Hill.

Mercer Island junior Evan Sadler placed 16th overall with a time of 16:40.

“Everyone’s times were a little slow since it was warmer weather,” said Sadler. “I felt a bit dehydrated after the race. The course was really fast but it was hard with a lot of hills.”

Islander Tyler Benster finished 31st overall, completing the course in a time of 17:05.

Benster and Sadler will be back next season to try and better their individual state finishes.

“I am going to put a lot more work in because I want to finish in the top 10 and get on the podium,” said Sadler.

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