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Published: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 7:42 p.m.

Glacier Peak girls dominate (updated with video)

Grizzlies, led by Amy-Eloise Neale, pull off a rare feat by taking the top five spots in Class 3A cross country meet

  • Stanwood’s Minna Fields runs away with the girls 4A race, winning in a time of 18:47.28.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Stanwood’s Minna Fields runs away with the girls 4A race, winning in a time of 18:47.28.

MARYSVILLE — Nothing is sweeter than a sweep in the sport of cross country.
The remarkable feat occurs when distance runners from the same team finish a race 1-2-3-4-5. It's rare, especially in a postseason race.
Dan Parker, currently in his 23rd year as a remarkably successful high school head cross country coach, had never coached a team that earned a sweep in the postseason — until Saturday.
Led by race winner Amy-Eloise Neale, a super sophomore who broke her own course record, the nationally ranked Glacier Peak High School girls cross country team completed a sweep in the Western Conference 3A championships. Marren Haneberg, Katie Bianchini, Sarah Whybark and Megan Davis finished second through fifth for the Grizzlies, who stole the show with a perfect score of 15 points on Lakewood High's 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course.
Here is a video of Glacier Peak's spectacular performance.

“Best team I've ever had,” said Parker, the former Snohomish High coach whose stellar 2010 Glacier Peak squad is ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A state coaches' poll and No. 23 in the country, according to ESPN RISE.
Neale, the defending 3A state individual champion, won the race in 17 minutes, 49.65 seconds, bettering the course record (17:51.12) she set a few weeks ago at the Hole in the Wall Invite.
On Saturday, Neale — used to winning by big margins — was almost 70 seconds faster than the No. 2 finisher, her teammate Haneberg (18:59.05).
“It's definitely hard being out there on your own,” said Neale.
Because she doesn't usually get much competition, “what she does is set different goals,” coach Parker said. “She wanted a 17:50 last time (on Lakewood's course). She wanted a 17:40 this time and that's what she has to do (because no one challenges her).”
Just the top five runners for each team score points in cross country but Glacier Peak had seven of the top 15 runners. The Grizzlies' depth is much better this season, said Parker. Among the team's top five, just one — Whybark (fourth place) — is a senior. Haneberg (second place), a junior, was a junior-varsity runner last year and Davis (fifth place) is a freshman who has sliced several minutes off her 5K times since the season started.
“We definitely have some people improving a lot,” Neale said.
Oak Harbor (51 points) placed second in the team standings and had six of the top 14 runners. The 3A state eighth-ranked Wildcats' fastest finishers were sophomore Christina Wicker (sixth) and senior Adrianna Royal (ninth).
All 3A teams advanced to next weekend's district meet at South Whidbey High.
Wesco 4A girls championships: Fields leads Spartans to team title
The last few days have been pretty eventful for Minna Fields.
On Thursday, the Stanwood High senior verbally committed to run for Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tenn.). And on Saturday, the talented distance runner dominated en route to a Wesco 4A individual title, her second straight individual league crown.
Completing the 5K course in 18:47.28, Fields was more than 48 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Lake Stevens senior Cia Bywater.
Fields and Stanwood teammate Jade Borseth (third place) helped the Spartans win the team title. Ranked third in the 4A state coaches' poll, Stanwood scored 55 points. Fifth-ranked Jackson (73 points) placed second.
Earlier this season Fields' times weren't great, she said, but things improved recently when she decreased her training load.
“Now that I'm dropping (mileage) I'm pretty close to where I was last year, if not a little better,” said Fields, the 2009 state runnerup. “I feel pretty strong now. I feel like I'm more rested.”
The top eight teams and top 40 individuals in the Wesco 4A race advanced to next weekend's district meet at South Whidbey High.
Cascade Conference girls championships: Strodel, Cedarcrest finish first
Happier and healthier than last year, Cara Strodel is a conference champion once again.
Strodel, a Cedarcrest High senior, won her second Cascade Conference title in three years, completing the 5K course in 19:19.10. Strodel was the conference champion in 2008 as a sophomore but finished fourth in 19:48.88 last year, when she was hampered by a knee injury.
Besides her improved health, Strodel said her coaches helped her a lot.
“They're always telling me to relax,” she said, “because when I get nervous I start tensing up and they're always telling me to stretch out my strides. That helps me get into a rhythm.”
With five runners among the top 15, 2A state sixth-ranked Cedarcrest scored 47 points and won the team title. No. 9 South Whidbey (51 points) was second and No. 3 Lakewood (76 points) finished third.
Senior Chelsea Stokes and junior Rachel Cundy, both of Lakewood, were the second- and third-place individuals. It was Stokes' final race on her home course.
“It definitely helped me push myself through it,” said Stokes, who finished in 19:43.67, “knowing I'll never run here with my team again.”
All 2A and 1A teams advanced to districts.
WESCO/CASCADE CONFERENCE GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Lakewood High School
3.1 miles
For complete results go to www.Athletic.net
Wesco 4A girls
Top 8 teams and top 40 individuals advanced to district meet
Team scores
1. Stanwood 55 points, 2. Jackson 73, 3. Snohomish 86, 4. Edmonds-Woodway 133, 5. Lake Stevens 134, 6. Arlington 153, 7. Monroe 153, 8. Kamiak 169, 9. Marysville-Pilchuck 179, 10. Cascade 309, 11. Mariner 344.
Top-five individuals for top eight teams
Stanwood: 1. Fields 18:47.28, 3. Borseth 19:39.90, 10. Stephenson 20:09.23, 16. Swartz 20:37.255, 25. Bodle 20:50.08.
Jackson: 4. Fruland 19:42.38, 5. Rawlins 19:43.84, 12. Todd 20:17.35, 24. Ponce 20:47.05, 28. Briggs 20:54.40.
Snohomish: 6. Nyquist 19:47.34, 8. Berntson 19:58.50, 15. Cornish 20:36.96, 27. Dreher 20:51.60, 30. Jensen 20:57.20.
Edmonds-Woodway: 14. Alfi 20:29.30, 17. Hopper 20:37.64, 21. Nash 20:44.12, 32. Fair 21:04.60, 53. Walde 21:50.92.
Lake Stevens: 2. Bywater 19:35.86, 11. Wagner 20:10.13, 34. Pilon 21:08.88, 38. Kleyn 21:14.36, 54. Green 21:52.07.
Arlington: 20. Taylor 20:43.02, 22. Wreggelsworth 20:44.82, 23. Kilmer 20:46.16, 42. Prause 21:30.36, 52. Van Slageren 21:49.52.
Monroe: 7. Bull 19:50.21, 9. S. Ohlsen 20:04.96, 36. T. Ohlsen 21:11.98, 41. Busch 21:25.13, 68. Sherrer 22:44.05.
Kamiak: 18. Hambrecht 20:38.09, 19. Benz 20:38.81, 45. Wegley 21:35.19, 47. Anderson 21:35.71, 49. McEachern 21:40.82.
Other top-40 individuals
13. Lefstad (M-P) 20:24.92, 26. Yerigan (Stanwood) 20:50.55, 29. Wilson (Jackson) 20:56.77, 31. Benneman (M-P) 20:58.14, 33. Mora (Jackson) 21:07.14, 35. Tyler (Jackson) 21:11.12, 37. Reinecke (Stanwood) 21:13.76, 39. Thoreson (Snohomish) 21:19.45, 40. Bergstrom (Stanwood) 21:22.39.

Wesco 3A girls
All teams advanced to district meet
Team scores
1. Glacier Peak 15 points, 2. Oak Harbor 51, 3. Shorewood 100, 4. Mountlake Terrace 110, 5. Shorecrest 150, 6. Everett 154, 7. Meadowdale 157, 8. Lynnwood 204.
Top-five individuals for top four teams
Glacier Peak: 1. Neale 17:49.65*, 2. Haneberg 18:59.05, 3. Bianchini 19:03.41, 4. Whybark 19:31.95, 5. Davis 19:34.02.
Oak Harbor: 6. Wicker 19:37.84, 9. Royal 19:48.81, 11. Leete 20:08.99, 12. Bressler 20:16.40, 13. Duvenez 20:17.47.
Shorewood: 7. Linton 19:39.01, 16. Lewis 20:43.08, 23. Throolin 22:03.87, 24. Yehdego 22:07.39, 30. McKellar 22:48.26.
Mountlake Terrace: 17. Penner 20:53. 14, 19. Fesler 21:31.54, 20. Bond 21:41.38, 26. Szilvassy 22:17.38, 28. O'Neill 22.24.46.
Other top-20 individuals
8. Condon (GP) 19:41.18, 10. Dowdell (Everett) 19:56.80, 14. Laiblin (OH) 20:21.06, 15. Rothschild (GP) 20:26.11, 18. Oliver (Shorecrest) 21:29.74.
*Broke own course record

Cascade Conference girls
All teams advanced to district meet
Team scores
1. Cedarcrest 47 points, 2. South Whidbey 51, 3. Lakewood 76, 4. King's 94, 5. Archbishop Murphy 111, 6. Granite Falls 135.
Top-five individuals for top three teams
Cedarcrest: 1. Strodel 19:19.10, 8. Anderson 20:32.72, 10. Carr 20:33.22, 13. Beam 20:56.53, 15. Brimley 21:03.50.
South Whidbey: 5. Craig 20:16.81, 6. White 20:22.88, 7. Stelling 20:24.70, 16. Martin 21:10.63, 17. Felt 21:12.24.
Lakewood: 2. Stokes 19:43.67, 3. Cundy 19:55.94, 12. Sowards 20:46.36, 31. Espinoza 22:15.86, Waterman 35. Skiles 23:21.06.
Other top-20 individuals
4. Kemper (King's) 20:10.83, 9. Mow (GF) 20:32.99, 11. Alexander (GF) 20:39.42, 14. Bartz (AM) 20:59.33, 18. McDevitt (King's) 21:15.88, 19. Rice (King's) 21:22.39, 20. Thomas (King's) 21:25.95.
Mike Cane: mcane@heraldnet.com. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam and follow Cane on Twitter at MikeCaneHerald.

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