ISSAQUAH — It was two days later than planned, but it was the same result the Jackson boys and girls cross country teams hoped for.
After the 4A Bi-District Cross Country Championship was postponed on Saturday due to inclement weather — and trees that had fallen on the course at Lincoln Park in Seattle — the Timberwolves shined at the event held Monday afternoon at Lake Sammamish State Park.
The Jackson boys finished second and the girls fifth, clinching team berths for both in Saturday’s state championships at Pasco.
“It’s really great,” said Jackson head coach Eric Hruschka. “I think it’s the third or fourth year in a row that we’ve gotten to do that.”
Last year at state the Jackson boys finished seventh overall and the girls placed 12th.
Aaron Roe finished third overall in the boys race on Monday — after a scoring error initially had him at fourth — and Brooke Kingma took seventh in the girls race to lead their respective teams.
“It feels really great to know the next step is state,” Roe said. “A lot of respect out to my team to be able to deal and keep going.”
Hruschka said the delay posed a unique situation for the Jackson runners. After the meet was canceled on Saturday, Jackson decided to make a stop at Green Lake on the way back to Mill Creek and let the Timberwolves run around the lake for a change of scenery.
“We had a little time afterwards and the kids were ready to run,” Hruschka said. “So we figured we may as well run them a little bit. It was nice to run somewhere new.”
The course at Lake Sammamish was still a little wet and less than ideal after a weekend storm, according to Roe. But the junior said it was a good opportunity to get back on a course against competition and build confidence for the state meet.
“This is probably the sloppiest course I’ve run all year,” Roe said. “But that’s why they call it ‘cross country.’ It’s fun to run across the sand, the mud, everything. I definitely feel like a cross country runner.”
Jadon Olson finished sixth for Jackson and Tristan Taylor (14th) also finished in the top 15 for the Jackson boys, who finished second with 100 team points, four ahead of third-place Garfield (104).
“Aaron and Jaydon have been really good all season,” Hruschka said. “Probably the race of the day for us was Tristan Taylor. He finished 14th overall and had the best time (16 minutes, 6.2 seconds) in his life.”
Redmond (88) took the team title.
“The boys, I thought, ran pretty well,” Hruschka said. “They were able to rebound from the fiasco. … Garfield and us have been even all year. We’ve seen them three times and been within 10 points each time.”
Hruschka said the girls team was dealing with more adversity than just a delayed match. The Timberwolves have had to overcome illnesses, deaths in families and other factors that made focusing on cross country tough.
However, the Jackson girls were able to get it done. Jessica Rawlins finished right behind Kingma and Mary Charleson added a 25th-place finish for the Timberwolves.
“We knew we had a lot of question marks coming into today,” Hruschka said. “It’s incredible that our seven girls got to the starting line. Brooke and Jessica did great up front and Mary Charleson really ran well and stepped up.”
Thanksgiving at the LeWarne house may have gotten a bit more touchy after Monday’s 4A Bi-District championships.
Charley LeWarne, who is the head coach of the Kamiak cross country teams, watched as his boys team edged out Snohomish, coached by his brother David LeWarne, 154 to 177 for the final spot in Saturday’s state championship meet.
“It always makes for a longer Thanksgiving dinner for one of us,” David LeWarne said. “It’s exciting to see them get to go.”
“We have this running joke about Thanksgiving,” Charley LeWarne said. “We want to see everyone run well and do their best. They beat us by eight last week (at the Wesco Championships).”
Jerry Behrens (15th), Seth Villanueva (31st) and Ben Halladay (35th) were the top three finishers for the Knights, who placed 12th at last year’s state meet.
“We knew we were in the hunt, close to Snohomish,” Charley LeWarne said, adding that his brother was “certainly congratulatory” after the race. “We figured it was six teams racing for five spots and we were in that mix. ? It’s wonderful to run against them. They bring out the best in us and I hope we bring out the best in them.”
Fortunately for David LeWarne, he will still get to go to Pasco with the Panthers girls team finishing fourth overall.
Kyla Shade finished 21st to lead Snohomish, with a pack of three teammates not far behind. Bri Gibson (26th), Hannah Berntson (28th) and Hailey Nyquist (29th) all helped secure the Panthers to a team score of 137 points, two behind third-place Skyline (135) and four ahead of Jackson (141) which clinched the final team berth.
David LeWarne said it was tough dealing with the two-day delay to run, but that every other team was in the same situation. The Snohomish coach said it wasn’t tough running on a school day, because that’s when the Panthers ran their league meets.
“A lot of it is about routine,” LeWarne said. “It’s an intrinsic sport and when you start to rock the boat you start to alter too many circumstances. …. We were able to not be totally on but still qualify.”
The time and date for Saturday’s state meet at Pasco will be a little more set in stone.
“At least that meet we know the day and time of,” LeWarne said with a smile
Other state qualfiers
In addition to the top five teams in the boys and girls races qualifying for the 4A state championship the top 25 individual runners in both races also secured spots in Pasco on Saturday.
In the boys race Edmonds-Woodway’s Miler Haller also qualified for state finishing fifth overall with a time of 15 minutes, 44.5 seconds. Snohomish had a pair of runners advance with Brad Hodkinson (seventh) and Kyler Sager (16th) finishing in the top 15. Mount Vernon’s Alex Mitchell (11th) and Nathan Beamer (18th) of Arlington also will get to run at the state championships.
The girls run featured two Lynnwood sisters who finished in the top 20, with Mikayla Pivec (fifth) and Malia Pivec (18th) placing high for the Royals. Edmonds-Woodway’s Hailey Kettel (13th), Kamiak’s Molly McEachern (23rd) and Arlington’s Emma Janousek (24th) also qualified for the state meet.
4A Bi-District 1/2 Meet
At Sammamish State Park, Issaquah
Top 5 teams and top 25 individuals qualify for 4A state meet
Boys team scores—1. Redmond 88, 2. Jackson 100, 3. Garfield 104, 4. Eastlake 146, 5. Kamiak 154, 6. Snohomish 177, 7. Bothell 186, 8. Lake Stevens 211, 9. Inglemoor 225, 10. Skyline 249, 11. Edmonds-Woodway 255, 12. Arlington 308, 13. Mt. Vernon 325, 14. Roosevelt 326, 15. Issaquah 370, 16. Cascade 400.
Individual qualifiers—Jackson: 3. Aaron Roe 15:35.9, 6. Jadon Olson 15:46.4, 14. Tristan Taylor 16:06.2, 36. Connor Willgress 16:37.1, 41. James Henry 16:48.0. Kamiak: 15. Jerry Behrens 16:07.2, 28. Seth Villanueva 16:24.5, 30. Ben Halladay 16:27.0, 33. Cullen McEachern 16:35.1, 48. Bo Gould 16:56.8. Other qualifiers: 5. Miler Haller, Edmonds-Woodway 15:44.5, 7. Brad Hodkinson, Snohomish 15:50.7, 11. Alex Mitchell, Mt. Vernon 15:56.7, 16. Kyler Sager, Snohomish 16:07.5, 18. Nathan Beamer, Arlington 16:08.1.
Girls team scores—1. Garfield 112, 2. Eastlake 130, 3. Skyline 135, 4. Snohomish 137, 5. Jackson 141, 6. Roosevelt 158, 7. Redmond 163, 8. Kamiak 227, 9. Ballard 243, 10. Arlington 246, 11. Issaquah 252, 12. Inglemoor 257, 13. Lynnwood 268, 14. Edmonds-Woodway 292, 15. Lake Stevens 328, 16. Mariner 458.
Individual qualifiers—Snohomish: 20, Kyla Shade 19:05.2, 25. Bri Gibson 19:09.1, 27. Hannah Berntson 19:25.0, 28. Hailey Nyquist 19:26.5, 37. Esmeralda Bonilla 19:51.0. Jackson: 7. Brooke Kingma 18:41.1, 8. Jessica Rawlins 18:43.6, 24. Mary Charleson 19:08.4, 45. Cole Gross 20:01.3, 57. Emily Hylland 20:21.6. Other qualfiers: 5. Mikayla Pivec, Lynnwood 18:37.5, 13. Hailey Kettel, Edmonds-Woodway 18:56.2, 18. Malia Pivec, Lynnwood 19:01.6, 23. Molly McEachern, Kamiak 19:06.1, 24. Emma Janousek, Arlington 19:07.2.