Sixth man boosts Lakewood boys to title

Herald staff

MOUNT VERNON – Despite a 1-2-3 finish by the South Whidbey boys, Lakewood packed six runners in the top 12 positions to win the North Cascades Conference cross country championship Friday at Skagit Valley College.

Lakewood and South Whidbey eached scored 42 points, but Lakewood had the tiebreaker as its sixth runner, Jeff Brown, placed 12th, nine places ahead of South Whidbey’s sixth runner.

“It was a brilliant race by both teams,” Lakewood coach Mike Evans said.

South Whidbey’s Braden Giswold won the individual championship in 16 minutes, 30 seconds over the 3.1-mile course. He was followed across the finish line by teammates Brett Perkins and Bryce Hymas. South Whidbey runners also finished 16th and 20th.

“We used them to help us get better,” Evans said.

Perry McConnell led Lakewood with his fifth-place finish. Cougar runners also took 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th. The Cougars top five runners finished within 30 seconds of each other.

Mount Vernon’s Jon Skelton, who finished first in 15:57, led the Bulldogs to the Northwest 3A championship. Mount Vernon edged Anacortes by six points.

Mount Baker, the defending Class 2A state champion, won the North Cascades girls team title by 19 points over South Whidbey. Blaine’s Grace Coulter was the individual champion in 19:08.

Lynden took the Northwest 3A girls title, beating Squalicum by 18 points. Squalicum’s Ashley Vincent beat teammate Sara Thon by more than a minute to win the individual championship.

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