Twin Harbors cross country teams competed in their respective league championship meets last week, with both the 1A Evergreen and 2B Pacific League title meets being held within the county lines. Here’s a look at last week’s cross-country action.
Tenino, Forks take top spots in 1A Evergreen
Tenino’s Sam Hill and Forks’ Madelyn Archibald took the top spots in their respective races at the 1A Evergreen League Championship meet held on Oct. 24 at Lake Sylvia in Montesano.
Racing for her fourth consecutive year on the Lake Sylvia course, Archibald led wire-to-wire, crossing the finish line with a time of 21:36, two-and-a-half minutes better than Hoquiam’s Macie German, who placed second with a time of 24:11.
“(Winning the league title) feels really good,” said Archibald, who placed second at last year’s league-title meet. “I won a couple of league meets earlier in the season, but to win league is really cool.”
Archibald set the tone early, cruising out to a large lead in the first third of the 5K race and never letting off the gas pedal. The Spartans senior was unfazed by the altered course, where rains earlier in the week caused some downed trees to obstruct the off-road portion of the course. To accommodate for the blockage, officials changed the route, making it a more hilly, road-based course.
“This was actually the driest year that I’ve been here,” Archibald said. “I had a time in my head that I needed to beat and that’s what I worked to do.”
Tenino’s Katie Snyder (24:34, 3rd), Elma’s Autumn Sayres (24:51, 4th) and Montesano’s Aubrey Anderson (25:14, 5th) rounded out the top five.
While Archibald easily won her race, the boys race a half-hour later turned out to be much closer.
Similar to Archibald, Tenino’s Sam Hill set a quick pace early and got out to a large lead with Forks’ Wesley Camacho, Hoquiam’s Timmy Higgins and Montesano’s Aric Jacklin in chase.
But Higgins kicked in the final third of the race, overtaking Camacho for second place and quickly closing the gap on Hill, pulling to within striking distance of the Beavers junior on the final turn before the home stretch.
Hill had enough to hold off Higgins though, earning himself the league title and leading the Beavers to its first team league championship since 2006.
Hill finished with a time of 17:47 with Higgins crossing the line at 17:56.
“I was just thinking of the people behind me because I heard footsteps, so I started using my arms more going up the hill,” said Higgins, who admitted he’s not the strongest hill runner. “I was just catching up to people and at the top of the hill, then on the downhill, I could see (Hill) down there and I couldn’t stop. I just kept going.”
Higgins, a freshman, said his race strategy was to stay ahead of Montesano’s Aric Jacklin and to get in a “good spot and stay there through the race.”
He said he was surprised with his second-place league finish.
“It’s kind of crazy. I didn’t think I’d be here in this spot,” he said. “There are so many other good runners that are great at hills, and I’m not the greatest, but I just kept using my arms and it just happened.”
Camacho placed third (18:02) followed by Jacklin (18:13) and Tenino’s Drew Hart (18:23) to round out the top five.
Tenino won the league title with 37 points followed by Forks (50), Montesano (57) and Hoquiam (88).
“We had some kids really step up today and that really made the difference,” Tenino head coach Frank Swenson said. “(Hill) had never ran a cross-country race before this season. He transferred into the district and asked, ‘Can I come out?’ He ends up being a league champion and that was definitely a blessing. That’s kind of the cherry on top that definitely helped put us over the top.”
Aberdeen’s Sherman, Taylor place in top 10 at 2A Evergreen championships
Aberdeen sophomore Gary Sherman and junior Skyler Taylor placed in the top 10 of their respective races at the 2A Evergreen League Championships on Oct. 23 at Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis.
Sherman finished with a time of 17:30.55 to place fifth in the boys race while Taylor took seventh in the girls race with a time of 22:55.42 over the 5K course.
Tumwater swept both the individual and team titles on Wednesday. The Thunderbirds’ Josh Newman won the boys race with a time of 17:06.92.
The T-birds finished with 29 points followed by WF West (57) in second.
The Bobcats placed third with 82 points as Joel Nelson (18:39, 14th), Jesus Junco (18:43.72, 16th), Dante Jimenez (19:30. 34, 23rd) and Will Boling (20:05.72, 27th) joined Sherman to complete Aberdeen’s team score.
In the girls race, Tumwater’s Olivia Bailon took the league title with a time of 19:40.04 as the T-birds won the team crown with a score of 20.
WF West placed second with 41 points.
Ocosta’s Todd, Cain crack top 10 in Pacific League title meet
Ocosta’s Dylan Todd and Natalie Cain broke the top 10 at the Oct. 24 2B Pacific League Championship meet in Westport.
Todd, a sophomore, placed seventh in the boys race with a time of 15:48 while Cain, a junior, took the ninth spot in the girls race with a time of 20:54.
Northwest Christian’s Noah Phillips won the boys race with a time of 14:53.
NWC won the boys team title with 26 points. Ilwaco (57), Life Christian Academy (61), Ocosta (83) and Willapa Valley (149) rounded out the top five team spots.
Life Christian’s Gabby Martin won the girls individual title with a time of 17:36.
NWC also won the girls team title with 19 points, with all five runners finishing in the top 10.
Ilwaco (47) took second with Ocosta (75) taking third.