The Meridian boys’ cross country team may not have left Pasco with the Class 1A State Championship trophy it coveted, but after studying his team’s performance, Trojans coach Mike Holz affirmed his team had no reason to feel disappointment.
Meridian had hoped for a better team score and a subsequent better placing, but poor racing wasn’t the source of lower finishes.
Holz said every boys runner who had previously ran at Sun Willows Golf Course manufactured a better time on Saturday, Nov. 8.
“They performed well on the course comparative to the past,” Holz said in a phone interview. “In terms of placing, the boys wanted to get a trophy. That didn’t quite happen today, but we ran strong races overall.”
Meridian tallied 166 points, which placed the Trojans fifth overall. Medical Lake won a state title with 53 points.
Even if Meridian runners could have shaved a few seconds off their times, making up 58 points would have been a tall task.
Trojans standout senior Collin Magnusson finished a team-best seventh with a time of 16 minutes, 7.16 seconds. It was one spot lower than last year’s sixth-place finish, but Magnusson improved by 16 seconds.
Behind Magnusson was Derek Morrow (16:47.24), who placed 21st.
“Derek had a great race,” Holz said. “He was strong. Again, it’s not like we raced poorly. The other kids were just really good, and it looked like we weren’t going to get them today.”
Rounding out Meridian’s varsity top five were Derek Holz (17:25.11), who placed 58th, Levi Morrow (17:47.97), who placed 76th and Riley Hawkins-Hecock (17:52.90).
Magnusson, Derek Morrow, Levi, Hawkins-Hecock and Brendon Ross were all running their final races as Trojans, and Holz praised them for the leadership they’ve shown all season.
The only other Whatcom County 1A boys’ competitor besides Meridian’s seven was Lynden Christian’s Josh Lingbloom, who finished 62nd overall in a time of 17:33.81.
“It was his first state race,” LC coach Darren Postma said of Lingbloom in a phone interview. “He went out and was pretty even throughout the race. He moved up five or 10 spots the last mile or so.”