As the Anacortes High School cross country team walked away from the Skagit County Champions last week, they knew that three of their groups had taken the top spot.

The varsity girls (ranked No. 1 in the state), the varsity boys and the junior varsity boys all earned a victory.

The next day at practice, coach Brad Templeton delivered some news — a corrected scoring error meant the junior varsity girls also landed in first place.

All four groups from Anacortes took first, something Templeton said he hasn’t seen before as cheers went up from all runners on the squad.

“It’s just remarkable,” he said later. “This season has exceeded my expectations.”

Jessica Frydenlund won the girls’ race, and the Seahawks had the top six runners in the meet.

Frydenlund finished first in 18 minutes, 14 seconds. She was followed by teammates Casey Lemrick (19:47), Carolyn Chambers (20:05), Caitlin Brar (20:11), Abigail Goodwin (20:12) and Ally Cutter (20:15).

Frydenlund had placed fifth the last time the Skagit County Championships were held in 2019.

This time, Anacortes won with 15 team points.

It was girls team’s second win in the past two county meets.

In the boys’ race, Parker Mong of Anacortes was second with 16:56.

Anacortes had six of the top 10 finishers and won the team crown with 32 points.

The junior varsity teams finish up competition this week, but the varsity squads still have a couple more meets, including the conference championship that will allow them to qualify for state.

Individual runners who place high enough also can qualify for state, Templeton said.

The boys varsity team this year is ranked No. 6 in the state, but many of the highest-ranked teams are in the same conference as Anacortes, Templeton said. The boys are pushing to see if they can land one of the few state spots, but if they don’t place in the top three, vthey can still send some of their top runners, Templeton said.

The girls team is already looking forward to what a trip to state might mean, including all-white uniforms and a new jacket.

“It’s a whole vibe,” Goodwin, a junior, said to a chorus of agreement from the other girls.

This year, the cross country team has 48 runners. Last year, during a weird COVID-19 season, the team saw some of its highest numbers ever. This year, that number grew even more.

There’s a strong group of seniors this year, but there are also a lot of underclassmen, which should keep the team strong moving into future seasons.

Brar, a senior, said it’s nice to finally have a real season this year. Last year, the team ran a short season during the winter months, and without a postseason.

Key to success like the team has seen this year is consistency, Frydenlund said. She has won several meets this year and broken a few records.

Getting out and running every day is really what leads to wins, she said.

“It’s a team sport, as well as a self sport,” Goodwin said.

That means each athlete can work on their own times, but they also provide support and aid to their teammates, she said.

Lemrick, a sophomore, agreed.

“You have to be committed,” she said.

The best part of a race is when the runner crosses the finish line, said Cutter, a senior. It’s not because the race is over, but because “you feel like you accomplished something,” she said.

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