By David Krueger Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — With rain falling down and mud flying everywhere, conditions were not exactly ideal for a cross country meet Saturday afternoon at Lakewood High School.
But the Kamiak boys team — ranked No. 8 in the state — weathered the storm, with three runners finishing in the top 20, leading the Knights to their first ever District 1 cross country title.
“I don’t think we’ve ever won the district championship,” said Kamiak coach Charley LeWarne. “I’m thinking of what all the trophies in the gym say, and I’m not sure, but I think it’s the first.”
Seniors Ryan Bradford and Tomislav Smith finished eighth and 15th respectively, followed closely by Jerry Behrens who crossed the finish line 17th.
“We knew we were in the hunt, but you’ve got a lot of good teams out here,” LeWarne said. “We ran really well today.”
Joey Davis finished 32nd, Ben Halladay 48th and Jackson Carter 50th for Kamiak. LeWarne singled out the latter two as key performances for the Knights.
“Ben Halladay and Jackson Carter stepped up today,” he said. “They made a big difference.”
Jackson (136 points), the No. 5 ranked team, finished second, 26 points behind Kamiak. The Knights increased their margin of victory over Jackson, which it beat in last week’s league championship meet by a single point.
The Timberwolves boasted second-place finisher Aaron Roe, who finished the race in 15 minutes, 40.4 seconds. They also got a strong showing from junior Jadon Olson (16:21), who finished 13th.
“It’s fun to go back and forth with Jackson,” LeWarne said. “It’s a great rivalry.”
Eastlake (138), Garfield (141) and Lake Stevens (175) rounded out the top five, which all qualified for next week’s state tournament. Garfield had the first-place finisher, senior Jamie Coughlin (15:36.1) and Lake Stevens was led by Mason Nicol (12th place overall).
The runners had to deal with cold temperatures and plenty of water, with almost all of them coming across the finish line covered in mud. LeWarne said that his team wasn’t going to focus on the weather, because they weren’t the only ones running in the rain.
“My high school coach always said, ‘(cross country) is extremely democratic. Everyone’s out there running in the same conditions,’” LeWarne said. “They handled it pretty well today.”
Oak Harbor (67 points) took first place in the closest race of the day on the boys’ side, beating Glacier Peak (77) by 10 points. Shorewood (98) rounded out the top three.
The Wildcats were led by sophomore John Rodeheffer who finished fifth overall. Their first five runners to complete the race – Rodeheffer, Clayton Richardson, Jason Salas, Gavin Stewart and Nathan Wagner – all finished in the top 20.
Keagan Smith was the top finisher for the Grizzlies, finishing in ninth place with a time of 16:51.3. Zach Smith and Michael Matwichuck finished 11th and 13th respectively, with Richardson being the lone runner to cross the finish line in between them.
Shorewood was led by the sixth place finish of Keenan Stephens.
The top three teams qualified for next weekend’s state tournament, as did several other local runners.
Shorecrest’s Carter Osborne finished second overall in 16:13.6, followed by Jack Pearce (16:16.9) of Mountlake Terrace. Tanner Nieman (Stanwood), Dominic Giordano (Meadowdale) and Cody Hoskins (Stanwood) all finished in the top 15 and qualified for state.
The 2A boys race was dominated by teams from up north. Sehome (45) took first, followed by Squalicum (66) and Bellingham (73), the top three 2A teams in the state in that order. Anacortes – ranked No. 8 – finished fourth with 134 points, in front of Cedarcrest (143), the No. 4 team in the state, and host Lakewood (147).
Both local teams did have one individual runner qualify for state. Cedarcrest junior Logan Orndorf finished the race in fourth place with a time of 15:59.8 and the Cougars’ Douglas Davis (16:38.2) finished 13th.
At Lakewood H.S.
4A boys state qualifiers–Teams: Kamiak 110, Jackson 136, Eastlake 138, Garfield 141, Lake Stevens 175. Other local qualifiers: 5. Jack Griffing (Edmonds-Woodway) 15:59.9; 16. Colin Wiedmer (Cascade) 16:22.8; 19. Brad Hodkinson (Snohomish) 16:28.6; 20. Alex Mitchell (Mount Vernon) 16:28.6; 23. Ryan Fairhurst (Snohomish) 16:31.1.
3A boys state qualifiers– Oak Harbor 67, Glacier Peak 77, Shorewood 98. Other local qualifiers: 2. Carter Osborne (Shorecrest) 16:13.6; 3. Jack Pearce (Mountlake Terrace) 16:16.9; 7. Tanner Nieman (Stanwood) 16:40.2; 8. Dominic Giordano (Meadowdale) 16:44.4; 14. Cody Hoskins (Stanwood) 17:06.8.
2A boys state qualifiers–Teams: Sehome 45, Squalicum 66, Bellingham 73. Other local qualifiers: 4. Logan Orndorf (Cedarcrest) 15:59.8; 13. Douglas Davis (Lakewood) 16:38.2.