PASCO – Gold was a little hard to come by for area girls at the state cross country meet at Sun Willows Golf Course – Riverside won the 1A championship – but there were plenty of outstanding performances, including a couple of amazing records.
Riverside scored 80 points to beat King’s by 20 points.
“Trees are full of leaves and as the season progresses there’s only a few left,” third-place finisher Jess Mildes said, pointing to a preserved leaf she and her teammates pinned to their warmups. “That’s how runners are, you want to be the last runner on the tree. All runners go through hard things, then you have to hold on.”
“A lot of their success is because they do it for each other,” Riverside coach Tim Hart said. “We’ve had a lot of girls with injuries, one since July, and the reason she kept going is the fact is it’s not for her, it’s for her team. That’s the attitude of all seven girls. It’s something pretty special.”
For silver there was North Central’s Katie Knight in the 3A race joined by the Shadle Park team; Cheney in the 2A; and Colfax’s Morgan Willson and Northwest Christian in the 2B/1B.
That doesn’t include two amazing performances.
Running alone to win by 1 minute, 50 seconds, Maddie Meyers of Northwest shaved 1 second off the course record of Mt. Spokane’s Megan O’Reilly, who was there to watch. Meyers won her third straight 1A title in 17:34.
But unlike O’Reilly, who held her record for five years, Meyers’ lasted for 1 hour, 59 minutes and 58 seconds. With Knight pushing her, Glacier Peak’s Amy-Eloise Neale won the 3A race in 17:31.8.
• 4A: Inglemoor’s Tansey Lystand pulled away from Anastasia Kosykh of Eastlake to win in 17:44.4 and Eisenhower won the team title by six points over Eastlake and Tahoma to give the Cadets both 4A championships.
Mead senior Baylee Mires was fifth and Lewis and Clark junior Alison Keenan was ninth.
• 3A: The most anticipated race of the day is likely to repeat a couple of more times, since only two seniors finished in the top 10.
Neale, Knight and Kendra Weitz of Shadle, who ran with the leaders for more than 2.5 miles before finishing fifth, are all sophomores who battled to similar finishes as freshmen in both cross country and track.
“Any time that you get a group of girls that is really good and is working toward the same goal of being good athletes in the future, then it’s an asset to all of us,” said Knight, who ran hip-to-hip with Neale until the homestretch. “I wouldn’t be as good if she wasn’t there to push me, because she does push me.”
With Weitz and junior Katie Morris, who was sixth, the defending champion Highlanders scored 107 points, well behind Glacier Peak’s 41 – courtesy of six runners in the top 22.
• 2A: Cheney made a strong run at Sehome, which won its fifth straight title with 86 points. Led by sophomore Sanne Holland’s third-place finish, the Blackhawks had 120 points.
“We just wanted to come in confident,” Holland said. “I think it could have a gone a little better. Compared to last year it was faster, so I improved. I’m happy with that. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out with them or not. I think I could have. I did (leave something on the course).”
Sarah Reiter of Lindbergh won in 18:03, while Holland finished in 18:46.
“We were hoping to trophy,” Cheney coach Jay Martin said. “Hats off to Sehome, they were awesome. I’m pleasantly surprised. We closed our gap (but) that Sehome pack, holy cow, they were amazing. They don’t have a standout front gal, but I don’t know if they had a 10-second gap.”
Sehome’s top finisher was 10th, and the fifth Mariner to cross the finish line was just 40 seconds back.
• 1A: With injuries, Mildes said the Rams didn’t really start thinking championship until last week.
“The girls ran really well today,” Hart said. “It just came together for them right at the end. They battled a lot of injuries all year, the top three girls. We knew if they ran their own race they’d be OK.”
Overall, sophomore Delaney McMahan was ninth, junior Susan Burchett was 12th, sophomore Jessica Chrisp was 34 and freshman Rebecca Mildes was 70th for Riverside. Their finish among runners scoring team points was much higher.
Lakeside finished fourth, led by freshman Megan Ahrendt in seventh place.
• 2B/1B: Willson lost to Oroville freshman Sierra Speiker by more than 20 seconds early in the season, and cut that to 13 seconds as Speiker ran 18:44.8.
“I was glad there was somebody to push me,” said Willson, who won by 47 seconds last year. “I think she picked up the pace a little bit at the end. I tried to stay with her.”
Northwest Christian (Lacey) won its fifth straight title, scoring 44 points, 22 fewer than Northwest Christrian (Colbert), which placed sophomore Anna Henry third and senior Christina Anderson eighth.