Cross country among many CV teams eyeing state
By Mike Vlahovich
The revelation wasn't quite a lightning bolt from on high when Central Valley girls track and cross country coach Dennis McGuire welcomed then-freshman Briegan Bester into the fold, but it could have been.
Early in this cross country season, he reflected on how when Bester arrived to his track team last spring he had no idea who she was or where she came from. He knows now.
"She didn't run (cross country) for me last year," he said. "No one knew about her. Do you think I was excited to have her in track? She's a phenomenon."
All Bester did in her freshman debut was place twice in the State 4A middle distances, so he was all smiles when Bester joined the cross country team. The defending Greater Spokane League champion Bears became even stronger.
Bester won the season opener in 19:44 during a sweep of Mead. The next week, adversity struck when, at Liberty Lake County Park, she failed to finish the race and was later diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Bester returned to action in the season-ending GSL race for a league championship repeat. They compete in the regional state qualifying meet at Wandermere Golf Course Nov. 2.
But Bester isn't the only newcomer on the team that led CV to another title.
"Three girls on junior varsity were on varsity last year," McGuire said at the CV-University meet that September afternoon. "And we were pretty good last year."
Junior Sarah White and sophomore Kayla Boyer took turns as CV's No. 1 runner in Bester's absence. And in CV's next-to-last GSL race there were four freshmen in the lineup.
With Bester's return, the Bears are a good bet to earn the state trip that eluded them last year.
Central Valley's volleyball (read story) and girls cross country teams aren't the only ones seeking a regional playoff berth. It's been a good fall all around for the Bears.
Cross Country - The defending state champion boys cross country team is after a return state trip. Their glitches this year came in mid-October.
The Bears were stung by Mt. Spokane at home, losing 27-28 and beaten by multi-league champion North Central. Both are 3A teams going their separate ways during state qualifying.
Corey Hunter has been healthy and CV's No. 1 runner all season. Spencer Jensen and Briton Demars have been right behind on a team that has as many as five runners returned.
Football - The Bears got off to a sluggish 1-2 start, before winning four straight to put them back in the chase for a postseason playoff spot.
They play at Gonzaga Prep Nov. 1 for the second 4A postseason berth.
Coach Rick Giampietri lamented the fact the Bears let the Mt. Spokane game get away.
But there have been bright spots.
Junior running back Spencer Miller developed into the workhorse. He had gained 795 yards rushing and scored 10 touchdowns before suffering a concussion in a loss to Shadle Park. The engine that drives the bus, Adam Chamberlain has added 597 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and thrown for 1,299 yards and five more scores, with Hayden Wolrehammer a main target.
Girls Soccer - The Bears ran afoul of Mead, losing 3-2 for the only blemish on the season. The team is readying for the playoffs.
They had a couple of close matches, including a shootout win over last year's 3A state finalist, Mt. Spokane, but shared the GSL title with the Panthers.
With district concluded Nov. 1 and regional tournament Nov. 5 and 9, the Bears seek a return to the 4A state tournament in which they reached the quarterfinals last year.
Freshman standout Kelsey Turnbow led CV in scoring heading into the season finale, and had two hat tricks. Savannah Hoekstra (see article in October issue of The Splash) was right behind and the team assists leader.
Hoekstra is one of just four seniors on the team, including Sara Grozdanich, who had a five-goal match this year.