This will be a season of change for the Inglemoor High cross country team, following one of the better stretches in program history.
“We graduated out some of the best runners Inglemoor has ever had in Nick Laccinole, Gavin Parpart and Michael Rhoads,” said fourth-year head coach Kelly Richards. “All three are now running collegiately at Division I schools. Bailey Fjelstul is also running women’s cross country at Concordia this fall.”
The trio is responsible for some of the fastest times recorded by Inglemoor runners. Laccinole and Parpart sit at second and third all-time in the 5,000 meters behind David Kinsella’s 2003 school record of 15 minutes, 24 seconds.
Laccinole’s best mark was 15:25.9; Parpart’s was 15:28.
The experience, and the talent, are next to impossible to replace, but the Vikings have a few returning options with the tools to get there.
Incoming senior Ethan Karlinsey might have made the trio a quartet if not for a mid-season injury. Karlinsey broke onto the statewide stage as an 800-meters runner during track season, taking third at the Class 4A championships in Tacoma.
He also holds the fifth-fastest 5,000-meters time in the last 20 years.
Joining him on varsity are senior Wilson Turk and juniors Brayden Schultz and Liam Elias, all three of whom ran varsity-level times last fall. Freshman Cooper Laird should be a new piece to watch as he settled in with the varsity squad.
For the girls’ team, incoming senior Rebecca Ledsham is the unquestioned leader. She took sixth at the KingCo championships last season, and is among the top returning runners in the league.
The field was young last fall, with only two seniors in the top-10, meaning Ledsham will have stiff competition for one of the top spots at regionals. The top 14 individuals at regionals qualify for the state championships.
Senior Etta Moen and juniors Ellee London and Hannah Cottnair also promise to play big roles on the girls’ team. Hallie Wall, Caitlyn Parpart, Ciara Robinson and Jennifer Huffman will be sophomores. The Vikings could add a pair of freshmen, Olivia Wisnot and Angela Su, depending on how the first few weeks shake out.
UPDATE: The Vikings took part in the KingCo XC Two-Mile Races on Sept. 7, which break up runners by grade level. Elias set a top-10 time, and was the fastest Inglemoor runner to compete.
Ledsham was the second-fastest runner across all four grade levels, finishing nine seconds behind Mount Si’s Hannah Waskom in the senior race.
Sept. 14, Inglemoor, Issaquah at Mt. Si
Sept. 17, Three-Course Challenge
Sept. 20, Inglemoor, Newport at Woodinville
Oct. 1, Nike Twilight XC Invitational
Oct. 5, Bothell, Skyline at Inglemoor
Oct. 12, Inglemoor at Eastlake
Oct. 22, KingCo Championships
Nov. 5, WIAA State Championships