Grizzlies running at the front of the packs | Cross country

McDowell, Stratton should be strong state contenders
By David Pan | Oct 19, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Glacier Peak’s Aviry Stratton ran well at the Hole in the Wall Invitational. Stratton, seen here at an earlier league meet, is among the favorites at this week’s Wesco championships at Lakewood High School.

Glacier Peak’s Riley McDowell and Aviry Stratton should be at or near the front the pack as the postseason kicks off this week.

The two are coming off strong performances at the Hole in the Wall Invitational.

Stratton finished 16th in the girls race, while McDowell placed 17th in the boys race Saturday, Oct. 6, at Lakewood High School. The Grizzlies took third place in the girls competition and were the No. 2 4A squad. North Center (3A) scored 75 points and was followed by 4A Lewis and Clark (187) and Glacier Peak (198)

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Stratton said. “We had a lot of girls get some new records. It’s cool to see that.”

Senior Samantha Boyle finished 19th and senior Brooke Wallace was 48th. Junior Lindsay Ardry placed 50th.

“We’ve had a lot of improvement on our team,” Stratton said. “We’ve got some new people. It’s been fun to see how they do.”

The highlight of the season for Stratton was her fifth place finish at the 20th annual Iolani Invitational in Hawaii in mid-September.

Stratton said that she and teammates posted strong times in Hawaii. The Grizzlies placed second overall in the meet that drew teams from Washington, California and Hawaii.

“We have a really strong top five and we’re looking forward to keep improving,” Stratton said.

McDowell ran one of his best races at the Hole in the Wall Invite and appears to be peaking at the ideal time.

“It was a lot better than all my other races this year,” McDowell said.

Glacier Peak’s Tyler Tanta finished 40th and was followed by Elijah Lopez (47th) and Nathan Tastad (51st).

The Grizzly boys team also finished second at the Iolani Invite.

“We had a strong four and our fifth – Carter Schmitt – is finally getting back into good health,” McDowell said. “So we’re hoping to get that strong fifth.”

For McDowell, the key to his success is not going out too fast but staying with the frontrunners.

“I try to get out in a good position, but I don’t want to go blazing away with the other guys,” he said. “I want to try to stay focused on the race from behind and move up as the race goes along.”

The Wesco championships are scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, at Lakewood High School with the district meet set for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at South Whidbey High School.

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