Seven Mercer Island High School boys cross country athletes powered along the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco to give the squad a 10th-place finish at the 3A state meet on Nov. 5.
Sophomore Owen Powell was tops for the locals with an 18th-place showing of 16:25.30 in the 5K contest. Other Islander harriers who competed at state were freshman Matthew Lawrence, seniors Carson Schiller and Lars Eide, freshman Silas Rennie, junior Linus Hykes and senior Brooks Enge.
Team captain Schiller said it was a tough and windy race and the course featured copious hills for the runners to tackle. It wasn’t the team placement they were gunning for, he said, adding a positive touch to the scenario: “I think we all really ran our hearts out on the course and did everything we could.”
Schiller, who was still spent on Sunday after running the day before, competed in his first state cross country race to close out his four-year Islander career in that sport. He also runs the one- and two-mile races in the spring for the track and field squad.
He reflected on his time with the cross country program, noting that it’s, “One of the highlights of my high school career. I feel like our community is so great and has really motivated me to get here in the first place. They really fueled my love for running.”
The Islander had a blast on the packed course amongst the stellar competition. He said it was a surreal experience to lace up his shoes and hit the course for his final race.
“It didn’t really hit me that I was going to be running at state ‘til I actually got there and we checked out the course the day before. I would say it was a perfect way to end the season — definitely my favorite race of the season.”
There have been an abundance of life lessons to learn along the way for Schiller, who said that he can apply humility, diligence and sportsmanship to running and to his daily activities at school and elsewhere.
On the school front, Schiller owns a 4.0 grade-point average and especially thrives in his advanced placement physics and calculus courses. He hopes to continue running in college and split his major and minor in the mechanical engineering and computer science realms.