Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco becomes the center of the Washington running world Saturday morning as boys and girls runners from five classifications all converge for the state cross country championships. Qualifying from district meets from Lewis River Golf Course to the south to Chambers Bay to the north, the Olympia area will have qualifiers in every race but the girls 1A. A preview of local entrants:
Olympia boys come in off third-place district finish
Led by two top 10 individual finishers, Olympia was third at districts. Senior Connor Griffith was second, recording a time of 15:41.4, eight seconds behind the winner, sophomore Evan Jenkins of Camas. Ethan Coleman was fifth for the Bears in 15:56.6.
Griffith’s PR of 15:28.6, recorded back in September, ranks him 10th overall in the state. Eisenhower junior Jonas Price, with a PR of 14:49.9 is the prohibitive favorite Saturday.
In the girls 4A race, senior Kate Riggs (19:43.9 at districts) and sophomore Anna Dragt (21:11.0) will represent the Bears, who did not make the field as a team.
North Thurston, Yelm boys and Capital girls teams in the field
Yelm junior Bryce Cerkowniak held off Bethel’s Cameron McCann and North Thurston junior Samir Amin to win the Westside Classic individual title in 15:57.5. Amin ran a 16:05.7 as the Rams qualified second as a team and Yelm fourth.
Cerkowniak’s PR of 15:22.3 places him within striking distance of the state’s two fastest this season, Isaac Teeples (15:17.8) and Stanford Smith (15:21.0), both of Kamiakan.
Another North Thurston junior, Ian Coker, cracked the 17-minute barrier at districts in 16:51.6.
Four Thurston County boys reached the 3A state meet as individuals: Shelton senior Brock Knowles, who finished sixth in districts at 16:13.9, Timberline junior Robert Andino (17:04.7) and Capital runners Kai Walz and Adam Peterson, both 17:08.4.
Capital’s girls reached the field as a team, led by sophomore Aubrey Harrington, who finished fourth at districts in 19:34.1.
Two Shelton runners made state as individuals, sophomore Alauna Carstens, ninth in districts at 19:53.9, and Aiden Gregg (20:48.6).
Tumwater boys and girls both qualify as teams
With senior Josh Newman (16:19) and sophomore Beau Fields (16:48) finishing in the top six, Tumwater’s boys earned District 4’s second team berth to state. Newman finished just seven seconds behind winner Aidan Rowley of Columbia River.
Individuals from local 2A Evergreen Conference schools to qualify for state included Truman Affeldt of Black Hills (fifth in 16:45), along with Myles Johnston (17:22), William Taylor (17:23) and Henry Jordan (17:39) of W.F. West.
Tumwater’s girls, led by two-sport star Olivia Bailon, a senior starter for the Thunderbirds’ basketball team, also claimed second at districts. Bailon’s time of 19:16 was nearly a minute ahead of the third-place runner, but champion Allyson Peterson of Hockinson clocked 18:50 to run away from everyone.
Local individuals to qualify were Mianna Tanguileg of River Ridge (eighth in District 3 in 20:56) and W.F. West sophomore Elaina Koenig (21:32).
Two individual boys lone local reps in 1A
No 1A Evergreen Conference teams of either gender qualified, leaving only Tenino junior Sam Hill (17:22 and third at Lewis River) and Elma senior Tyler Bristow (18:22) to represent the league at state.
Lacey rivals will keep the heat on in Pasco
With Northwest Christian senior Noah Phillips (15:45.8 season best) and Pope John Paul II junior Kobe Deutscher (15:49.7 PR) threats to win the boys individual title, the combined ‘B’ classification has a strong Lacey flavor.
Both schools qualified as teams for both the boys and girls championships.
Phillips finished second in the District 4 meet at Onalaska High School, just a second behind winner and state leader Daniel Quintana, an Ilwaco sophomore. Teammates Cameron Nielsen (15:50.65), Garrett McSheffrey (15:58.23) and Ryand McCullough (16:47.6) also cracked the 17-minute mark to finish in the top 12 as the Wolverines won the district title by 72 points over Ilwaco.
Dylan Davis (17:36.08) and Ryan Doidge (17:53.02) of Rainier both qualified for state as individuals.
Meanwhile, with Deutscher and junior teammate Mattox Marsh finishing one-two, Pope John Paul II beat out Mt. Vernon Christian for the District 1 championship.
On the girls side, PJP2 ran in the District 4 meet and won it behind sophomore Clare Kondrat (fifth in 19:55.59) and freshman Moriah Steinbrecher (ninth in 20:31.3). Northwest Christian was second as a team behind freshmen Josie Ryder (sixth in 19:55.97) and Rachel Carlson (20:25.35).
Sophomore Selena Niemi (fourth in 19:37.44) led Rainier to the districts fifth team seed to the state meet.