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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Complications of cosmetic consumerism

A fitting finish

Cross country looks to end their memorable season by sending both the boys and girls teams to state
Jerrod Burright
Seniors Amber Rose, Katie Diekema and junior Bailey Fjestul battle for position with the rest of the leaders during the KingCo meet at Lake Sammamish State Park. The girls team finished in third place overall while the boys team finished in second. Both teams are seeking their first state appearance as a team since 2002.

Using every ounce of energy they have, runners stampede down the final stretch of the 5K race.  As they stride across the finish line, there is a feeling of accomplishment that rushes through each athlete.

Although tired and worn out, the Inglemoor runners line up near the finish line to welcome and high-five the remaining competitors, regardless of which school they are from.  Sportsmanship has always been the defining characteristic of cross country, even as they prepare to compete at state for the first time in nearly fifteen years.

“Our team is representative of Inglemoor,” senior Andy Seckinger said.  “We have a lot of spirit and we care about how everyone does, not just how our varsity runners finish.”

Through their enthusiastic team cheers, unique hammer-bearer tradition and overall positive atmosphere, the team has remained an extraordinarily close-knit group.  But with a record 95 people on the roster, and only seven spots on each team, most runners will not be competing during the team’s bid for state.

“We try to remember that we’re not competing against each other, but for each other,” junior Bailey Fjelstul said.  “Coach Shuck, who retired after last season, always reminds us that the word ‘compete’ comes from the Latin word ‘competere,’ which means to strive for together.”

This season the girls (6-2) are led by senior Amber Rose, who finished in 5th place at state last year.  Rose is the girls school record holder in the 5K with a time of 17 minutes and 44 seconds.  Joining her on varsity are fellow seniors Anna Richards and Katie Diekema, juniors Fjelstul (returning state qualifier) and Rebecca Crawford, and sophomores Rebecca Ledsham and Etta Moen.

Meanwhile the boys (5-3) are led by the junior tandem of Nick Laccinole (returning state qualifier) and Gavin Parpart.  Seniors Seckinger and Jordan Sieben, sophomores Ethan Karlinsey and Wilson Turk and freshman Brayden Shultz round out the varsity line-up.

“Every year, one or two individuals will make it to state because they finished in the top 25 at districts,” Sieben said.  “But qualifying as a team will be even better because instead of just bringing a couple people to state, we will bring the entire team and that way more people will get the chance to experience what state is like.”

In order to qualify as a team, both the boys and girls needed at least a fourth-place finish at this year’s district meet in South Whidbey on Nov. 1.  Each runner’s final position is integral to the team’s success.  Points are given to runners based on where they finish (one point for first, two for second, etc.).  Only the top five results count towards the team’s total.  The goal of the six and seventh runners is to displace their opponents.  Whichever team has the lowest score is the winner.

“We have been talking about [making state] throughout the season, but not a lot so that the kids don’t feel too pressured,” Coach Kelly Richards said.  “I have asked each of them to take the individual hat off and put on their team hat so that whatever they do helps out the team.”

This idea will not be a problem for a team that was always focused on building a supportive culture.  Although only seven boys and seven girls will be competing at the team’s first state appearance in eleven years, they will be running to represent all of their teammates who were at their side for the whole season.

“Ultimately cross country teaches great life lessons about sportsmanship and enduring trials,” Fjelstul said.  “And there isn’t a group I’d rather compete with than the people on cross country.”

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A fitting finish