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By David Pan 

Kamiak's Arceo, Mukai finish strong in final dual meet | Cross country


Last updated 4/7/2021 at 12:08pm

David Pan

Kamiak's Jackson Hammons, Jason Blinn, and Carp Mukai lead the pack during a Wesco dual meet against Mariner Thursday, March 25, at Mariner High School.

The one-two punch of Emma Arceo and Carp Mukai was a potent combination for Kamiak's cross country teams.

Arceo easily captured the girls race, completing the 4K course in 16 minutes, 36.2 seconds, finishing the season undefeated. Arceo was followed by Madeline Graves, Bella Hasan, Katelyn Booth, Emilyn Hazelbrook and Dana Osorio Amya. Mariner's top finisher in seventh was Xitlalli Salinas-Lopez.

Mukai won in 13:16, ahead of teammates Jackson Hammons, Jason Blinn, Benjamin Stenberg, Jaedyn Chase, and Tyler Sloan. Mariner's Matthew Meisner was 10th. The Knights beat the Marauders 15-50. The Mariner girls did not have enough runners to qualify as a team.

Arceo was glad to be out of the house and with her teammates.

"I'm just thankful that I can come out here and race. That's just what I've really been wanting," she said. "I'm happy with my times and my places, but the ultimate goal was just to come out here and race."

Kamiak coach Charley LeWarne said the delayed and shortened cross country season helped put life into perspective for the Knights.

"One of the things we really tried to do from the beginning was to capture the sport," he said. "I mean by doing what is most important, which is kids being with their buddies, running hard, racing a little bit. That was kind of the standard that we were looking for."

Kamiak had a turnout of about 56 runners, which is 15 higher than normal. Some of those numbers may have been influenced by the desire to do something other than Zoom classes.

"It's so obvious that they needed to get out of the house and see each other," LeWarne said. "They linger after practice, and it takes forever to get stuff going."

Arceo said socialization is what she missed the most.

"I'm really glad to be seeing my teammates more often," she said. "I ran with them in the offseason when we didn't have school. It's just crazy because it's been a year, and I'm just so happy to be back and seeing everyone."

The lack of a postseason was disappointing, especially for the boys, who advanced to state in 2019. Mukai and Blinn are both seniors. Kamiak did tie perennial league power Jackson in a dual meet earlier in the season. The Wolfpack prevailed in the tiebreaker.

David Pan

Kamiak's Emma Arceo finished first in a Wesco dual meet with Mariner Thursday, March 25, at Mariner High School.

Arceo admitted that she's glad she's a junior and still has one more season at Kamiak. "I feel bad for the seniors this year," Arceo said.

Arceo and her teammates head straight into track this week. The WIAA scheduled spring sports to follow the traditional fall sports. Winter sports, such as basketball and wrestling, will go third in the WIAA's revamped prep schedule.

Arceo noted that a five-week cross country season combined with a six-week track season makes the whole year seem like a normal season.

"It's just split between cross country and track," Arceo said.

LeWarne expects more good performances from the Knights.

"We get the benefits of this five or six weeks, and then we roll right into track," LeWarne said. "It's kind of in the normal place. I think we'll have a pretty fun time."


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