Freshman stands out in a wide open Knights’ lineup | Cross country

Kamiak also returns a pair of juniors
By David Pan | Sep 27, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Carp Mukai finishes first in a Wesco 4A meet against Monroe and Mariner at McCollum Park.

A fresh face is leading the Kamiak boys cross country pack.

Freshman Carp Mukai has emerged as the Knights’ top runner on a young squad.

Mukai won his first race, finishing the 5k course at McCollum Park in 17 minutes, 35.20 seconds, to help lead Kamiak to a second-place finish in the Wesco 4A meet against Monroe and Mariner.

Monroe’s Isaiah Funston took second in 17:48.50 and Mariner’s Brandon Lopez was third in 18:05.90. Kamiak freshman Jason Blinn placed sixth in 18:34.20.

The Bearcats won the meet, scoring 26 points and was followed by Kamiak with 37 and Mariner with 68.

Mukai placed second in the freshman race at the Sehome Invitational earlier this month.

“He’s the real deal. He’s pretty good,” Kamiak coach Charley LeWarne said of the Kamiak freshman. “He’s making a jump from obviously middle school. It’s a big jump, especially in this league and especially if you hit the right teams. As good as he is, certainly there’s a lot to learn. He seems to be a pretty good student of it. He’s a scrappy little guy. He’s a lot of fun to watch run.”

Kamiak juniors Christopher Clarke and Owen Cromwell finished ninth and 10th with times of 18.51.00 and 18:52.30, respectively. Sophomores Ethan Mueller and Andrew Stupey were 11th and 12th in 19:09.90 and 19:12.50.

LeWarne said that the team is looking to Clarke and Cromwell to provide leadership for the younger runners.

One of the goals is to close the gap between Mukai and his teammates.

“We’ve got a little bit of a hole to fill between No. 1 and the next ones,” LeWarne said. “Those other guys are trying to keep up and catch up. … The rest of that pack is young and new to racing at the varsity level. Obviously, trying to get them in there is the name of the game.

“We have a big pack, a lot of guys. We need to move up and close that gap between the frontrunner.”

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