by John R. McNeil II
Freshman Lukas Hermetz led the Raider boys at the CAN-AM Invitational Saturday at Kettle Falls, placing 48th with the time of 20 minutes, 4.13 seconds.
Hermetz will look to continue improving and holding on to the number-one spot for the boys’ squad this week. On the girls’ team, Alexia Hanway was number one again for the Raiders, taking 49th in 25:03.98.
Junior Mary Ann Matheson and sophomore Zach Erickson tied for the Most Improved Raiders for the CAN-AM Invite. Head Coach Gary Darnold pointed out that Matheson’s time of 26:31 is 90 seconds faster than last year’s at that course.
Meanwhile, Erickson trimmed off an incredible 2 minutes 22 seconds from last year’s race to finish with a career PR of 23:21.
Also improving on the course was Oscar Pakootas, who cut 30 seconds off last year’s time to finish at 22:56.
The competition at Kettle Falls was not as stiff as at the previous two weeks’ events, Darnold noted. “We did not see as many 2- ,3- and 4-A schools as we have in the last two weekends, so we did compete better and we are continuing to improve,” he said.
That improvement will also come with health, Darnold added.
“As we get healthier, we can work to get into better shape,” he said, “and we are still a bit on the sick side but getting better.”
This is the only two-race week of the season for the Raiders as they ran last night in Omak and will race again on Saturday for the Lake Roosevelt Invitational at Greene Field.
Coach Darnold looks to have everybody racing for the home race, which will feature 1A Tonasket with B competition from Republic, St. John-Endicott, Wellpinit, and Pomeroy.
Races will start at 11 a.m. with the middle school races, in which Nespelem School will take part. Then at noon the high school races will start.
Complete stats for the CAN-AM Invite can be found at http://ow.ly/eaCya .