Issaquah takes third at cross country state

November 10, 2009

By Bob Taylor

The Issaquah High School cross country team, including (from left to right) Dennis Leigh, Chris Brasino, Isaac Robinson, Jon Wallis, Turner Wiley, Kevin LeMond (hidden) and Spencer Hildie (outside frame) gather and talk in the finish line area following their race in the 4A state cross country championship meet Nov. 7 in Pasco. The team finished third. By Gordon King/Yakima Herald-Republic

The Issaquah High School cross country team, including (from left to right) Dennis Leigh, Chris Brasino, Isaac Robinson, Jon Wallis, Turner Wiley, Kevin LeMond (hidden) and Spencer Hildie (outside frame) gather and talk in the finish line area following their race in the 4A state cross country championship meet Nov. 7 in Pasco. The team finished third. By Gordon King/Yakima Herald-Republic

Call it a perfect season for the Issaquah High School boys cross country team. The Eagles achieved all of their pre-season goals.

One of Issaquah’s goals was to finish third at the 4A state championship meet. The Eagles did just that, taking third Nov. 7 at Pasco’s Sun Willows Golf Tournament. Issaquah finished behind champion Ferris, which had 68 points, and Jackson, which had 100 points. The Eagles had 150.

Prior to the state meet, Issaquah won the 4A KingCo Conference and District 2 Championships.

“The kids just had an incredible year,” Issaquah coach Gwen Robertson said. “They reached every one of their team goals. Then, they told me before the season they were going for the KingCo, district and third at state. I said, ‘Sounds good to me.’”Senior Chris Brasino led the Eagles, placing 18th in a personal best time of 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Brasino steadily worked his way through the pack. On the last 800 meet, he poured it on, going from 25th place to 18th. With his finish, Brasino qualified for the Border Clash, a cross country meet Nov. 11 between top runners from Oregon and Washington.

Other Eagles also had personal bests.

Dennis Leigh, who broke a leg before the start of the 2008 season, capped a strong 2009 season by taking 33rd in a personal best of 16:08. Isaac Robinson jumped 50 places from last season’s state meet to finish 51st in a personal best 16:24. Turner Wiley showed incredible improvement from last season’s state meet, jumping 62 places to finish 52nd in 16:24.

Jon Wallis came in 53rd in 16:27 and Kevin LeMond was 55th in 16:27. LeMond finished among the top 60 runners at state in each of the past three years. The final member of the team was Spencer Hildie, who finished 130th in 17:36.

“It just wasn’t a pie-in-the-sky thing for this team,” Robertson said. “They all ran their best. They have worked hard together ever since last summer.”

Of the local runners at state, Skyline’s Kyle Branch had the highest finish. Branch placed 13th in 15:50.

In the 3A championships, Liberty’s Josiah Sherwood finished 59th in 16:55.

Eastlake won the girls 4A state title with 100 points. In the 3A girls meet, Liberty’s Megan Chucka placed 68th in 20:39.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or bobtaylor@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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