CV building cross county program, ‘Mead-style’
By Mike Vlahovich
Fourth-year Central Valley cross country coach Kieran Mahoney has embraced a philosophy to assure long-term success.
"I'm building a program Mead-style," he said, one patterned after his mentor, former Panthers coach Pat Tyson, who dominated the Greater Spokane League and state before moving to Gonzaga University.
Like Mead's era, Mahoney has built CV through numbers with some 80 runners on this year's team.
The Bears are 4-1, the lone loss to state Goliath North Central, with races remaining against rival University Oct. 10 and fellow 4A state aspirant Lewis and Clark a week later.
Last year, the Bears finished fifth in the 4A meet, their first state appearance since winning top-four team trophies in 2006 and 2007.
"It's just about building the excitement, to set the expectations and chase the great programs," Mahoney said following last week's win over the Panthers. "It's a step-by-step process. We finished fifth in state last year, and the guys have another whole year of training."
Mahoney was a four-year state qualifier himself, placing 11th as a junior and the next year contributing to a state team championship for Cheney High School in 1989.
He coached at Mead and in Port Angeles before arriving at CV.
Last week, all seven varsity runners – Logan Giese, Spencer Jensen, Colton Pegram, Matt Hommel, Corey Hunter, Briton Demars and Austin Seely – finished one behind the other, separated by less than a minute. Giese is the only senior, and Hunter, one of the highest state finishers last year, is just returning to action following injury. Jensen, Pegram and Briton are sophomores.
Tyson comes out twice a year to inspire the runners.
"He's still my mentor," Mahoney said.
Bears, Titans - 'nuff said
No incentive is needed when Central Valley football returns to action at home Friday. Its foe, after all, is University, hoping to play spoiler against the surprising Bears who are part of a three-way tie for second place in the Greater Spokane League.
With scarcely a returning starter and some early season jerry-rigging, it was unsure how the Bears would fare. They are in the thick of things again following a win over Lewis and Clark, stunning in its 31-0 dominance.
Now 4-1, they are in the middle of a race for two 4A post-season berths. Gonzaga Prep leads the GSL with a 5-0 record. CV, Mead and Ferris share second. The season-opening loss to the Saxons narrows the playoff margin for error considerably with wins over the Bullpups and Panthers in upcoming games a likely necessity.
Quarterback Adam Chamberlain returned and rushed and passed for 66 yards each against LC to complement Brandon McClung's 181-yard, three rushing touchdown effort.
Central Valley volleyball entered the week 4-1 and tied with Mt. Spokane and University for second place. The Bears lost to the Wildcats and beat the Titans, with unbeaten Mead looming. CV has been led year-long by hitter Taylor Butters, setter Tia Pau and libero Erika Bowden. … Skye Sanders, CV's top state girls cross country returnee, was back on the course just six months after knee ligament surgery. She finished behind top-four placers Brielle Crump, Alexandria Moore, Courtney Owens and Kayla Boyer, who finished just 35 seconds apart in beating Mead. … Girls soccer entered the week tied for first at 4-0 behind scoring leaders Savannah Hoekstra and sophomore Kasey Ames. … A 6-5 loss to rival University was the first for CV slowpitch softball. League play ends this week with playoffs looming.