JOYCE — A year after finishing second at the Salt Creek Cross Country Invitational, Port Angeles’ Jack Gladfelter went one step higher this weekend, winning the men’s varsity event in the 44th running at Salt Creek County Park.
Gladfelter, who finished 10th at the state 2A cross country meet last year and fifth in the 3,200 at the state 2A track and field championships, won with a time of 15 minutes, 17.8 seconds.
In fact, Port Angeles had three runners in the top eight, while Sequim got two runners in the top 12 and five in the top 30.
As a team, the Sequim boys finished third with 102 team points and Port Angeles was fourth with 107 points (like golf, lower scores are better in cross country). Kingston won the meet with 60 points, while Nathan Hale had 84. Olympic was a distant fifth with 155.
Coming in third place was Colby Ellefson of Sequim with a time of 15:57.8. Ellefson came in fifth last year. Maxwell Baeder of Port Angeles was fourth with a time of 16:24.7. Baeder came in ninth last year.
Langdon Larson of Port Angeles continued the top showings from the Larson family with an eighth-place finish in a time of 16:31.4, improving his 14th-place finish from last year.
Owen Randall of Sequim finished 12th in a time of 17:04.4. He did not run at Salt Creek last year.
Three Sequim runners all finished in a pack at 28th, 29th and 30th. Collin Feik came in 28th (17:59.3), James Mason 29th (17:59.6) and Calem Klinger 30th (18:00.0).
Rounding out the boys were Kowen Kasten, Port Angeles, 39th (18:13.3); Mirek Skov, Sequim, 53rd (19:30.2); Jayden McLarty, Port Angeles, 55th (19:45.3); Aiden Butterworth, Port Angeles, 60th (20:09.5); Brock Tejeda, Port Angeles, 61st (20:26.5).
Among the girls, the best finish was by Sequim’s Kaitlyn Bloomenrader, a defending state champion in the girls 4×400 and a champion in the same event in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Ore.
Bloomenrader finished fifth with a time of 19:58.8, bettering her 12th-place finish last year. She was 20th at the state 2A cross-country championships last year.
Finishing sixth in her first varsity race was Leia Larson of Port Angeles. Larson has been a repeat winner in local 5K events, running as a middle schooler. Larson finished with a time of 20:08.9. She had by far the best time at the event of any freshman. The next fast freshman, Eliora McDaniel of North Kitsap, was more than two minutes behind Larson.
Sequim as a team got five runners in the top 43 and finished fifth with 126 points. Nathan Hale was first with 38 points. Port Angeles did not have enough varsity runners to qualify for a team score.
Sequim’s Anastasia Updike finished 24th with a time of 22:36.0, while Port Angeles’ Faerin Tait was 25th (22:37.8). Nikoline Updike of Sequim was 36th (24:30.6), Ahrya Klinger of Sequim was 37th (25:16.3) and Aspen Goldner of Sequim was 43rd (26:21.8).
Junior varsity, open and middle school races
Sean Southard of Sequim won the boys’ junior varsity race with a time of 18:48.8, while Moli Luong of Forks finished fourth in the girls’ JV race in a time of 24:03.5 and her Spartans teammate Kendall Marshall was sixth with a time of 25:41.2.
Sean Lyman of Port Angeles was fourth in the open race in a time of 20:22.9, while Matthew Lake of Sequim was fifth (20:50.8).
Leyton Larson of Port Angeles won the middle school 1-mile race in a time of 7:15.1, while Eleanor Jones of Sequim won the girls’ middle school race by nearly two minutes in a time of 6:58.7.
East Jefferson at Westling Invite
LANGLEY — East Jefferson’s Aliyah Yearian won the 43rd annual South Whidbey Carl Westling Invitational cross-country meet this weekend.
Yearian took first in the girls race with a time of 19 minutes, 9.97 seconds. She won the event by more than a minute.
East Jefferson got three top-10 finishes and finished fourth as a team with 125 points. Bellingham took first with 52. Camryn Hines was eighth (21:04.43) and Fiona Fraser was ninth (21:05.53).
Sylvia Butterfield was 50th (24:10.08), Michael Gregg was 65th (25:20.39) and Leah Ferland was 85th (27:20.21).
For the boys, Soare Johnston had the top finish for East Jefferson, coming in 12th with a time of 17:42.69. Grady White was 93rd (21:16.62), Indigo Gould was 95th (21:25.50), Dustin Hines 106th (22:40.81) and Alexander Robison 114th (25:51.05).