Christ cross

Cross Country Rival Teams Season Kicks Off

The East Jefferson Rivals boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have started the season off to a strong start, competing against their peers in Silverdale and competing in the 43rd Annual South Whidbey Carl Westling Invite over the past week.

Starting in Silverdale, EJ teams traveled to Klahowya High School last Tuesday to run a 5k course with their Nisqually League opponents.

A total of 79 boys from Annie Wright School, Klahowya High School, Charles Wright Academy, Seattle Christian Academy, Bellevue Christian School, Vashon Island High, Cascade Christian School, Life Christian Academy and Rivals participated in the boys’ race.

Senior and team captain Sebastian Manza finished first to lead the EJ boys to a fourth place overall.

Junior Indigo Gould came in 29th and rookie Grady White came in 34th in his very first high school competition.

The Rivals women’s team came second overall, led by junior Aliyah Yearian who claimed the top spot after a long off-season of training to set her personal best in the season opener. She finished 49 seconds ahead of second place.

Team captain Camryn Hines and junior Tadu Dollarhide finished third and fifth respectively to help the Rivals finish second.

Moving on to Saturday’s cross country action, the Rivals traveled to Whidbey Island for the annual South Whidbey Carl Westling Invitational, with the girls finishing fourth despite missing one of their top five runners.

With Dollarhide out, the girls took the 5k race full steam ahead as Yearian once again dominated the field to claim first place individually.

Hines and junior Fiona Fraser earned a top-10 spot with performances of eighth and ninth place. Despite compromising her own race, rookie Leah Ferland scored a moral victory by stopping to help a fellow runner who passed out during the 5k run. After getting help for the runner, Ferland was able to finish the race.

While it didn’t help the scorecards, Ferland’s sportsmanship and compassion were impressive in their own way.

On the boys’ side, EJ placed 14th out of 16 in the event. The boys were missing some of their team, but runner-up Soare Johnston had a great race, finishing 12th out of 114 competitors to earn a place on the podium.

Freshman Grady White was the second EJ rider to finish, placing 93rd. Gould finished 95th.

The Rivals will have a short break before returning to action as they return Sept. 27 to Vashon Island High School on a 5k running course against their Nisqually League competition.