The Squalicum boys' cross country team entered the Class 2A State Championships Saturday, Nov. 9, at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco knowing it was capable of getting two podium finishes out of Chris Fredlund and Nick Gallaher.
But the Storm knew it was going to need a little more in what figured to be a tight race for the team title.
"Basically, the whole time we were talking about our 3-4-5 guys having to stick together as a group," Gallaher said in a phone interview. "They're all good runners, and they knew if could do it, it would work out well."
Squalicum got exactly what it was looking for, and that was enough to help the team finish second to city rival Sehome, as the team brought home a team trophy for the second straight year.
"We got third last year, so to get second this year is great," said Gallaher, who finished 12th individually in 16 minutes, 6.79 seconds. "It tied for the highest we've ever gotten here at Squalicum. To see everyone step up and get second was great."
Squalicum last finished second in 1998.
Gallaher was followed by Chais Sugden in 42nd, Jared Radtke in 68th and Justin Rinauro in 71st.
"I thought everybody did their best, and I'm really pleased with how we ran today and throughout the season," Squalicum coach Katrina Henry said in a phone interview.
That was especially true for Squalicum's top runner, Fredlund, who did his best to keep the 2A boys' individual title at Squalicum, following in the footsteps of graduated two-time champion Patrick Gibson.
He ended up coming up just a little bit short, as Lake Washington's Devon Grove won in 15:29.72, less than 10 seconds ahead of Fredlund.
"I wanted to stay on Grove's hip the whole time, and then when it came to the end of the race, see if I could kick a little harder than he did," Fredlund said in a phone interview. "Obviously, it didn't happen that way. He picked up the pace, and I couldn't hang."
Fredlund said Grove dropped the hammer with about a mile left, and started shedding competitors one by one.
"I stayed with him as long as I could," Fredlund said. "I got passed in the closing meters, which is rare for me. That was a bit of a bummer for me, but that kid (Spokane East Valley's Chad Stevens) had some wheels at the end I wasn't expecting."
Gallaher said he also was hoping for a little stronger finish - something in the top five - but it simply wasn't in the cards.
"It turned out I was running the race by myself," Gallaher said. "I got dropped off a group, and I was all alone. But I kept running hard, and it turned out to be not a bad day. I was glad I could help my team to a good finish."
Bellingham's Brian Chmelik also had a pretty good day, finishing 52nd in 16:49.82.
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Pl. Runner School Yr. Time
3. Chris Fredlund Squalicum Sr. 15:39.26
7. Kirby Overman Sehome Jr. 15:57.80
12. Nick Gallaher Squalicum Sr. 16:06.79
24. Riley Allsop Sehome So. 16:30.52
26. Colton Johnsen Sehome So. 16:30.94
42. Chais Sugden Squalicum Jr. 16:43.14
47. Ben Stalheim Sehome Jr. 16:45.56
52. Brian Chmelik Bellingham Sr. 16:49.82
56. Zane Markosian Sehome Jr. 16:52.16
57. Noah Ringler Sehome Sr. 16:53.99
68. Jared Radtke Squalicum Sr. 17:02.44
71. Justin Rinauro Squalicum Sr. 17:06.76
76. Nathan LeTavec Sehome Sr. 17:14.16
79. Dylan Tomberlin Squalicum Jr. 17:16.14
108. Dillon Rinauro Squalicum Jr. 17:36.91
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.