We don’t usually cover high school sports here on The Advocate, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my alma mater’s cross country team is competing today in the State Championships, coached by my dad, Denis Villeneuve.
The Redmond Mustangs are making their nineteenth trip to the state meet, but it’s the first time that the girls team has been ranked No. 1.
They have a good shot at capturing the title when they run at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco this afternoon.
I wish I could be there to watch, but my schedule didn’t permit me to make the trip over to the Tri-Cities this weekend. So I’ll be cheering from home.
Dad has worked extremely hard over the years to build a strong cross country program at Redmond. It’s one of the better programs in the state. The boys and girls’ teams have each made half a dozen consecutive trips to state in the last few years, from a very competitive league (Kingco 4A).
I try to go to at least a few meets every year — somehow I managed to make it to all the home meets this season, as well as the district championship meet. So I’ve seen the Redmond team out on the course, and they are impressive.
Both The Seattle Times and the Redmond Reporter wrote about the Mustangs this week. Here’s what the Times’ Sandy Ringer wrote about the team:
Denis Villeneuve has had some pretty good girls teams at Redmond in his 27 years as coach. The Mustangs finished fourth in the 2007 4A state meet.
This could be his best squad. Redmond is ranked No. 1 in the final coaches’ state poll.
“We’re ranked No. 1 and we’d like to be No. 1 at state,” Villeneueve said. “We certainly should be on the podium, which is top-four. That’s the minimum goal. The girls would like to be first, but there are so many variables. We feel we’re as good as all the other teams out there, if not better. We just have to go in and be confident and see what happens.”
That quote really sums up Dad’s outlook on running. Go in, be confident, see what happens. Do your best. Reach high, but don’t take anything for granted. Don’t let a defeat get you down. It’s a pretty good approach to electoral politics as well.
We’ve got an election coming up in less than a hundred hours (ballot return deadline might be more accurate). There’s a lot at stake.
The first election I was involved in as an activist took place nine years ago. There was a lot at stake then, too (there always is). That election didn’t go so well. Tim Eyman’s I‑776 narrowly passed and Democrats lost control of the U.S. Senate. Those were some of the lowlights. There weren’t many bright spots.
But I resolved not to let the election results discourage me from continuing to work against Tim Eyman’s destructive initiatives. I’m still involved today because of the decision that I made then. Perseverance matters. I learned that from Dad.
Win or lose on Tuesday, NPI and Permanent Defense will continue working to raise our region’s quality of life. We’ll also continue to oppose Tim Eyman’s harmful, misguided initiatives. Washington just can’t afford Eyman’s schemes.
Dad has been coaching for nearly three decades. Today, the program he’s worked so hard to build has a chance to win a state title. That itself is a major accomplishment, one that our whole family is proud of.
But of course, nothing would be sweeter than seeing Redmond go all the way this afternoon. So good luck, Dad, and go Mustangs! I’ll be rooting for you.
POSTSCRIPT: Redmond ended up finishing third… the girls team ran very well, and even though they didn’t win the meet, they accomplished their goal of getting into the top four. This is one of the best finishes in the program’s history. Redmond was one point shy of tying for second with Bellarmine Prep; Tahoma won the meet with 88 points. (In cross country, the lowest score wins).
Redmond had two girls in the top ten individual finishers: Megan LeGresley was fifth with a time of 18:22.7. Kelsey Dunn was ninth with a time of 18:41.6. Megan and Kelsey are, not coincidentally, Redmond’s fastest girls. Joining them in the top thirty was Holly Young, who finished twenty-ninth with a time of 19:13.3.
One hundred and forty-six girls competed in the 4A cross country championship race at Sun Willows. Complete results have been posted.
The boys’ team is also in the state meet, and will run later today.