The streak is now four.
The Northwest Christian of Lacey boys cross country team rolled to another team title in Class 1B/2B at the WIAA state cross country championships at Sun Willows Golf Course.
The Navigators rolled up 84 points, outdistancing runner-up Liberty Bell and its 121 points, and St. George’s 125.
“We thought it would be a three-way race,” said NWC coach Mike Michaels. “It’s a good tradition for our school.”
With Luke Schilter, last year’s state champ, graduated, it was up to sophomore Garrett McSheffrey to lead the way. He finished ninth with a time of 16:45.2 over the 5K course.
“It’s hard,” said McSheffrey about his performance. “I didn’t do exactly what I wanted. I didn’t finish where I wanted. But it is what it is.”
McSheffrey was looking for a top-three finish.
But the course seemed colder, and the ground much harder over the rolling hills in Pasco. That was opposite of the 2016 event, which featured fog and soggy ground.
Still, McSheffrey found solace in the team title.
“That was our main goal,” he said.
Michaels said he doesn’t want his kids to feel pressure to repeat.
“I tell them to try not and think like that,” said Michaels. “Every year is supposed to be their year.”
Noah Phillips was right behind McSheffrey in 11th, while Hamilton Summers was 20th.
In the girls race, Liberty Bell’s Novie McCabe repeated as state champ. This time, the sophomore finished in 18:30.2. Liberty Bell also won the team title with 23 points.
Northwest Christian of Lacey finished second as a team, led by Ellie Summers’ fourth-place finish.
On her day, Summers quipped: “Can you talk to me in a couple days? It’s hard at the end of the race to truly be satisfied. My time was OK.”
It was 19:30.6.
Teammate Ava Shackell placed eighth in 20:14.1.
Michaels was happy with the team finish.
“We had five runners in the top 21,” he said. “Liberty Bell is pretty phenomenal. We talked about it before the race. We knew it was a long shot. But you’ve still got to go for it. I thought the girls ran well.”
For example, he said, on paper Nina Fraser was at 30th.
“But she finished 21st,” he said.
Ryan Kline of Central Valley of Spokane made a furious rally to win the 4A boys title in 15:1.3.
Kline was in 15th at the 2-mile mark when he started passing everyone. It took him the final few steps, though, to get by Camas’ Daniel Maton, who had to dive at the finish line but came up short.
AJ Chopra of Todd Beamer placed third, while Tahoma’s Dawson Besst was seventh.
Lewis & Clark edged Central Valley 86-87 for the team title. Bellarmine Prep finished third with 128.
LC also won the girls team title, and Tigers senior Katie Thronson pulled off the upset by beating two-time champion Taylor Roe of Lake Stevens with a time of 17:35.
Tahoma’s Breanna Glover placed third, and Curtis’ Maggie Bauer was 10th.
Lincoln’s James Mwaura used a cheering crowd to spur him on to the Class 3A boys cross country title.
The defending 3A champion finished the 5K course in a staggering 14 minutes and 48.3 seconds – blasting his 2016 state title run of 15:32.9.
“I was shooting for 14:40 or under,” Mwaura admitted. “But nobody was pushing me. It’s so hard. You just have to keep your stride and keep pumping your arms.”
Gig Harbor’s Peter Smith, who won the Class 6A individual title last year in Virginia, pushed Mwaura for the first 2 miles. But Smith then fell off the pace and placed 16th.
Smith’s teammate, Bradley Peloquin, finished third.
Kamiakin pulled off the upset, winning the team title and snapping North Central’s 11-year state championship streak.
Kamiakin finished with 55 points, Interlake had 92, and North Central was third with 97 points.
On the girls’ side, sophomore Erinn Hill won the individual title with a time of 17:55.3, and she helped lead her North Central teammates to the team title with 42 points.
Bellingham’s Cade Brown passed Cedarcrest’s Grant Van Valkenburg right at the finish line to win the 2A title in 15:26.
Sehome took home the team title with 94 points – 13 ahead of second-place Pullman.
Steilacoom’s Zach Koivisto finished seventh.
Sehome also won the girls team title with 101 points.
Kristen Garcia of Sedro-Woolley led from the start to take the individual title with a time of 17:52.9.
College Place’s Kenneth Rooks was too much for the rest of the field, winning his second state title in the last three years.
Rooks finished in 15:18.8.
Adam Briejer of Charles Wright Academy placed fourth.
Medical Lake took the team title with 78 points.
In the girls’ race, Nooksack Valley’s Alyce Harlan won in 18:06.9.
Colville won the team title, edging LaCenter 114-117.