LAKEWOOD – While other racers were slipping and sliding to a muddy fate, Shelton High’s Cody Williamson kept firm footing on the sloppy turf at American Lake Golf Course on Saturday.
And it netted him his first district cross-country title.
In a race that featured survival tactics more than superior speed, Williamson covered the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 16.3 seconds to win the Class 3A boys race at the Westside Classic.
He became the Highclimbers’ first district cross-country champion since Alex McClary in 2003. McClary went on to run at the University of California and Arkansas.
Yet, as runners often do, he was more critical of his time than accepting of his place in the race.
With the state championships a week away, the junior was asked if he thought he was hitting his stride.
“Absolutely not,” he said in a stern voice. “I have nowhere to go but up.”
Staying upright was the challenge Saturday, which the 2012 Narrows 3A champion did better than some of his counterparts.
“You have to wear spikes on this kind of course,” Williamson said. “I was just talking to another runner, and he said going up a hill, he slipped and fell when he was trying to pass someone.
“Conditions like this are something you definitely have to take under consideration.”
It was a mixed bag for Olympia High School at 4A. The boys got a pair of top-10 finishes from Peter Kesting (fifth at 15:49.1) and Nate Van Haitsma (seventh at 16:01.1) to place fourth as a team.
But the Olympia girls were sixth after Sofia Kane, the Narrows 4A champion, came in 11th at 19:06.3 – well behind winner Alexa Efraimson of Camas (17:52.0).
Yelm’s Camilla Kristensen was 27th in the 4A girls race in 19:51.4.
In 3A girls, Narrows League champion Hallie Whitley of North Thurston, placed 11th in 20:27.5 – more than 20 seconds slower than her league-winning time a week ago at Fort Steilacoom Park.
Timberline’s Kenna Valentich was 14th in 20:33.1.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/preps