Cross country races heat up

By JOHN McDONALD

Prep Editor

The three-week run to state begins Thursday for Western Conference 4A and 3A cross country teams.

The 4A competition will start at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Padden in Bellingham. The 3A meet is set for 3 p.m. at Lakewood H.S. northwest of Marysville.

The North Cascades Conference will hold its championships Friday at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon.

Two-time champion Camille Connelly of Marysville-Pilchuck broke her own course record by two seconds over the same layout last year and will be back to defend her Wesco 4A title. Scott Sebens of Oak Harbor is the boys defending champion. The Snohomish boys and girls are both strong threats to repeat as team champions.

The Snohomish girls are fresh off their victory Saturday in the Lava Bear Invitational at Bend, Ore. , although the M-P girls have to be considered co-favorites.

Stanwood’s Urness twins, Zoe and Chenoa, finished 1-2 last year and are back to defend their turf. Lynnwood’s Joel Mittleman is the boys defending champion. Stanwood will defend both team titles.

The South Whidbey boys, led by a 2-3-4 finish by Braden Giswold, Bruce Hymas and Brett Perkins, all returning runners, should dominate the North Cascades meet. Individual champion Hendrik Kok of Lynden Christian was a senior last year.

The Mount Baker girls, the defending state champions, should have no problem repeating as the league champion. South Whidbey’s Lisa Depender, who was third last year, will take another shot at the individual championship.

Cascade (4-1 in league, 10-1 overall) and Mountlake Terrace (4-1-1, 7-3-2), two teams in the running for the Wesco 4A title behind league-leading Snohomish (5-0, 8-3), play tonight (7:30) at Edmonds Stadium with the goal of staying on the Panthers’ heels. Snohomish faces its test Thursday on the road against Shorecrest (4-1, 4-4-3).

The top six teams in the Wesco 3A are all engaged with one of their fellow contenders Thursday. Only the top four will reach postseason play. Second-place Lake Stevens (6-2-2) plays sixth-place Jackson (4-5-1). Fourth-place Monroe (4-3-3) plays third-place Arlington (6-3-1). First-place Meadowdale (7-0-3) plays fifth-place Stanwood (4-4-2).

In a meet likely to decide the Wesco 3A dual-meet championship, Meadowdale (3-0, 6-1) swims against unbeaten Jackson (3-0, 6-0) today (2:45) at the Mill Creek Country Club pool.

Divers get another opportunity to qualify for the state meet this week. The 3A qualifying meet is 6 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Stevens. The 4A meet is 10 a.m. Saturday at Marysville-Pilchuck.

In the Wesco 4A, unbeaten Kamiak (6-0, 10-0) takes on once-beaten Oak Harbor (3-1, 4-5) tonight (7 o’clock) and once-beaten Edmonds-Woodway (5-1, 6-4) Thursday night.

The top four teams in the Wesco 3A are all in action against one another tonight (7 o’clock). Second-place Lake Stevens (7-2) is at third-place Lynnwood (6-3), while first-place Stanwood (8-1) hosts third-place Monroe (6-3). The top two teams clash Thursday at Lake Stevens.

The Wesco 3A championship meet is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at Jackson. The meet determines the top four singles players and doubles team who will compete against their counterparts from the Northwest 3A League in the district tournament.

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