When it was all said and done at the Emerald City League cross country championships, Bellevue Christian made a little history.
For the first time in school history, both the boys and girls team took first place in a dominating set of wins on Wednesday at Kelsey Creek. Both teams’ top-5 runners finished in the top-15, earning All-League honors.
“That was our goal and it was great to accomplish it,” said Bellevue Christian coach Ed Sloan. “Both teams just ran really well.”
The boys team, led by senior Andrew Van Ness with a second-place finish, scored 39 points, 44 points less than second-place Northwest School. Van Ness finished with a time of 17:19.60, bested only by Seattle Academy’s Alex Johnson, who clocked in a time of 16:54.00.
“Alex and Andrew got back and forth and it really is a healthy rivalry,” Sloan said. “They’ll both stand on the podium at state.”
Steve Koster finished in fifth for BCS, Jon Fouquier took eighth, Michael Milbank finished 11th and Kyle Fremd took 13th to round up the BCS runners who earned All-League honors.
It was the third-straight league title for the Viking boys team.
“I have a good number of seniors, but each year we’ve managed to reload with different guys,” Sloan said. “Our emphasis at this meet was that we had to stay together more with our 3-4-5 runners and that’s something that we accomplished.”
The girls team, ranked fourth in state in the last coaches poll, finished with 40 points, 30 points less than runner-up University Prep. Not bad for a squad that only came into existence a year ago, with five members no less, Sloan said.
“The girls did a really good job of recruiting other girls,” Sloan said. “They’re just a very good team and they ran well today.”
One of those recruits, junior Allison Hussey, finished in third for BCS with a time of 20:48.40, the highest Vikings finisher. Hussey, a former BCS soccer player, converted to the sport this season.
“She’s been learning,” Sloan said. “It’s a little different than running around in circles on the soccer field all day.”
Senior Terra Oldham finished in sixth for BCS, one spot ahead of little sister Bree. Erin Peterson (13th) and Hillary Brown (15th) completed the BCS runners who earned All-League honors.
The teams now will compete in the Tri-District meet on Nov. 1 in Tacoma.
“The girls are in a very good place to move on to state,” Sloan said. “The boys … they’ll be in for the fight of their life. All seven boys will have to run their best to make state.”
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-5045 or at email@example.com.