Lakewood boys win North County Invite

Senior Terrence Ordonez sprints to the finish. He was the third senior to cross the finish line at the North County Invite and had a personal-best race, according to his coach. -
Senior Terrence Ordonez sprints to the finish. He was the third senior to cross the finish line at the North County Invite and had a personal-best race, according to his coach.
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MARYSVILLE The annual North County Invite is not like most cross country meets.
According to Lakewood coach Jeff Sowards, the Marysville-hosted meet has pitted the genders against each other in freshman-, sophomore-, junior- and senior-class races since he was in high school.
It provides a special kind of incentive to both the boys and the girls.
I think the girls find extra inspiration when theyre competing with boys. Many of them hold their own, Sowards said. That might be inspiration for both sides. I know that the boys competing with the girls, they both want to beat each other.
The Cougar boys found their inspiration. Despite just average races from a couple of boys, the Lakewood team edged Lake Stevens for first place.
The race divisions by age rather than varsity and JV modified the formula for a team victory. In any meet, the places of the top five finishers on a team are added up, and the lowest total wins. However, at the North County Invite, those five fastest times are drawn across the races.
The format favors teams with strong runners in each class rather than the five fastest runners or the most consistently fast team.
Lakewoods win in the Oct. 11 meet came together thanks to a victory in the sophomore race by Taylor Guske, third-place finish in the freshman race by Trent Tresch and a third-place finish by senior Terrence Ordonez. Sophomore Chad Skiles and junior Nick Devier finished seventh in their respective races.
The girls took 11th running in the same format.
Lacey Nations eighth-place finish in the junior race anchored the team. Senior Sarah Dunn took ninth in her race. Freshman Chelsea Stokes and sophomores Chelsea Sowards and Amber Burnell rounded out the top five Lakewood girls.
Lacey Nation had a tremendous race. Shes really confident in her abilities right now, Sowards said. Were really proud of her attitude towards racing and preparing to race. Shes helping to lead her team no matter where shes at in the race.
Sowards added that the team plans to take the time between the North County Invite and the divisional meet theyll host Oct. 20 to get ready for the postseason. The meet will be the last for most of the Lakewood cross country team theyll only take their top nine runners on each side to districts at South Whidbey Oct. 27.
For some kids, that will create extra incentive to run hard at divisionals to make the cut.
All the coaches will have to determine who those nine kids are that will go on. We might have some kids that are on the bubble. Well have to determine who well carry, Sowards said.

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