PASCO — The Edmonds-Woodway boys cross country team compiled an impressive collection of personal-best times at Saturday’s state cross country championships.
And in doing so, the Warriors perhaps offered a glimpse of what’s possible down the road.
Edmonds-Woodway took fourth place in the Class 3A team standings for the second consecutive year, thanks to five runners finishing in the top 50 on the 5,000-meter course at Sun Willows Golf Course.
“They were, frankly, unbelievable,” Warriors coach Al Bonney said. “They were really terrific. They ran really, really well. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Edmonds-Woodway finished with 130 points, well ahead of fifth-place Gig Harbor. Kamiakin claimed the team title with 55 points.
Four of the Warriors’ five scoring runners finished with personal-best times.
Even more impressive? None of those five are seniors.
Edmonds-Woodway junior Deyago Peraza led the way with a 21st-place finish, crossing the line in a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 57.6 seconds on a chilly afternoon.
Dylan Hartono, a junior, placed 26th with a personal-best 16:05.0. Right behind him was junior Lucas Lacambra, who placed 27th in 16:05.2.
Sophomore Jacob Willcox placed 42nd with a personal-best 16:16.3, and junior Grant Christian rounded out the Warriors’ scoring by placing 48th with a personal-best 16:18.9.
“It’s just a great bunch of kids,” Bonney said. “These guys have all made a commitment, they’ve worked hard and they’re just awesome. Absolutely awesome.”
And with Edmonds-Woodway’s top seven runners featuring five juniors, a sophomore and a freshman, the team’s future appears bright.
“I’m really excited to see what they do next year,” Bonney said. “If they do the work this winter and if they do the work next spring and next summer, they’ll move up. And I think they’ve got a shot of being on the top step.”
The fastest local boys time belonged to Cedarcrest senior Grant Van Valkenburg, who took second place in the 2A race with a personal-best 15:26.7. He shattered his previous best time by more than 30 seconds and led the Red Wolves to a ninth-place team finish.
Van Valkenburg finished just 0.7 seconds behind Bellingham senior Cade Brown, who out-kicked the Cedarcrest star down the final stretch to win the title.
After suffering stress fractures in both tibias as a freshman, Van Valkenburg placed fifth in last year’s state meet before capping his cross-country career with a second-place medal.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I’ve put a lot into this. I’ve been racing since I was a freshman, and I’ve gotten injured. There’s been a lot of setbacks, so it means a lot for me to be able to get second.”
Archbishop Murphy senior Joshua Rauvola followed last year’s second-place state finish by taking fourth place in the 2A race with a time of 15:58.3. Mountlake Terrace junior Jaden Lofrese placed ninth with a personal-best 16:04.9.
Glacier Peak took eighth place in the 4A team standings, led by a pair of personal-best performances from sophomore Elijah Lopez and senior Nicholas Mullineux Perrault. Lopez placed 31st in 15:58.3, followed by Mullineux Perrault in 32nd with a time of 16:00.8.
Jackson senior Mateo Rivera placed 29th in 15:57.2, leading the Timberwolves to a ninth-place team finish.
Arlington took ninth place in the 3A team standings and Snohomish placed 11th.