Lakewood boys run to 4th place finish

PASCO — The Lakewood boys continued a long tradition of excellence by placing 5th at the 2A state cross country meet Nov. 7.

“It’s always nice to win the whole dang thing, but I wouldn’t have changed the way we did anything,” said Lakewood coach Jeff Sowards.

Six of the seven Cougar boys finished with personal best times, as Lakewood scored 139 points in its 26th consecutive state meet appearance. They also broke the school record that they set earlier this year of the fastest five-man finish, averaging 16:49.

Leading the pack of Cougars was senior Taylor Guske, who finished fifth overall, running the 3.1-mile trek at Sun Willows Golf Course in 16:14.

“Taylor stuck his nose in a fight out there and the pace kind of wore out some of the others,” Sowards said.

Finishing behind Guske were seniors Chad Skiles (24th place, 16:40) and Nick Howe (26th, 16:42).

The Lakewood girls kept a tradition of theirs going with a ninth-place finish. Each of the 10 times the lady Cougars have made the state meet, they have finished inside the top 10.

“I was pleased with the way the girls ran, and I know they are a little disappointed,” Sowards said. “But they were awesome.”

This was the first state showing for the girls in three years, and Sowards said that inexperience at the state level could have been telling. Chelsea Stokes was the frontrunner for Lakewood, finishing in 20th place with a time of 20:01. Following the senior was sophomore Rachel Cundy, who was 26th and had a time of 20:10.

In the 4A race, the Arlington girls were led by first-year runner Teresa Wadey, who finished in 19th place with a time of 19:06, qualifying her to run in the Nike Border Clash invite. The non-sanctioned WIAA race features Washington state’s top 40 prep runners against that of Oregon Nov. 22.

The Eagles finished 14th in the race with 312 points.

Junior James Clark finished 95th for the boys as the Eagles’ lone state qualifier, finishing in 16:59.

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