LAKEWOOD — Olympia High’s Sofia Kane has controlled the cross-country rivalry between her and Central Kitsap’s Rose Christen since they were freshmen in 2010.
But for Wednesday’s 4A Narrows League cross-country championships, it was finally Christen’s day.
Kane was unable to defend her Narrows title, finishing in 18 minutes, 25.74 seconds for third place at Fort Steilacoom Park. Christen won in 18:00.78 for her first Narrows title.
Kane had finished ahead of Christen in nine of the 11 meets they’ve both competed in since 2010. Kane took first place at the Narrows title meet last year to Christen’s second.
“She is tough,” Kane said. “I’m just really glad I’ve gotten to know her through the years. One of the best parts about cross country, to me, is just having these great people around to race against. That’s always what I look forward to.”
The last time Kane lost to Christen was in 2011. Kane finished ahead in all five meets the two competed in last year,
including the 4A state championships when Kane took fourth, Christen sixth.
Kane entered Wednesday as the favorite, holding a Narrows-best 5K time of 18:08.4 (seventh-best in the state, according to athletic.net) that she set at the Oly Time Trials on Sept. 3.
But a right-hip injury has bothered her since then and caused her to miss five meets. She placed first in a league meet at Shelton last week, but said her hip still hindered her Wednesday.
“That, of course, is no excuse, but that’s been my biggest challenge this year,” she said.
Christen’s time would vault her from the No. 14 time in the state to No. 4, based on times entering Wednesday.
Bellarmine Prep won the girls team title with 33 points and was led by Emily Thomas (fourth, 18:56.20) and Miranda Ross (fifth, 19:02.32).
The Gig Harbor boys – ranked No. 1 in the dyestat.com high school cross-country rankings – easily won the team title with its runners taking the top four spots in that race.
Wolfgang Beck won his third consecutive Narrows title by finishing in a personal-best 15:06.75.
Olympia’s Peter Kesting was the only boys runner not from Gig Harbor to finish in the top five. He took fifth in 15:31.80.
North Thurston boys, Shelton girls claim titles: James Jasperson’s first-place time of 16:25.94 at Fort Steilacoom Park led to a team title for North Thurston at the 3A Narrows League championships.
Jasperson led a 1-3-4 finish for the Rams, with Peters Allegre (16:37.65) third and Tyler Reece (16:56.64) fourth. Shelton won the girls team title with 32 points and a 2-3-4 finish, led by Lindsey Nicholas (20:43.35). North Thurston’s Hallie Whitley (20:06.12) won the individual firstname.lastname@example.org Staff writer Meg Wochnick contributed to this report.