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Tahoma boys and girls win South Puget Sound League title | Cross Country
Tahoma swept the team titles at the South Puget Sound League cross country meet Oct. 20.
In the boys race, Kentwood came in second, Kentridge third, Kentlake fifth, and Kent-Meridian ninth.
In the girls race, Kentridge took third, Kent Meridian fourth and Kentwood sixth.
Bears Coach Gary Connner stated the victory for Tahoma wasn’t as important as it was a marker of where the teams are at in the season, with two more races to go before the season concludes. Based on some of the times, including sub-20 minute runs for the entire girls team, was big boon.
“We needed to not only win but be where we need to be,” Conner said. “We needed to win big. I think the margins were kind of what we were hoping for. We knew that we really haven’t put up those big times simply because we haven’t had a meet or a reason for it. They have run fresher than they have in the past.”
Despite a bout of hail in the first mile, Bears senior James Dagley took the individual first place title in the boys race with a time of 15 minutes, 55 seconds, breaking the 16 minute mark as well as his own personal record. Dagley was also recently named cross country Male Athlete of the Year in the SPSL North.
“There’s no pressure left for James,” Conner said. “He’s athlete of the year, he ran sub 16 (minutes). Now he can just go and have fun. There’s no more worrying. He had the best race he could possibly have.”
Right behind him was junior Riley Campbell, who took second with a time of 15:56, breaking his personal record by 10 seconds.
On the girls’ side, sophomore Delaney Tiernan placed second with a time of 18:36, compared to her sixth place finish and time of 19:27 from last year’s league meet.
“Delay is just getting faster and faster and faster,” Conner said. “Her form is getting better and better. She still hasn’t even hit her potential yet.”
Senior Elizabeth Oosterhout came in a close third, one second behind, at 18:37, a new personal record.
“Elizabeth is a stud,” Conner said. “I look forward to seeing her at the state meet.”
Other outstanding individual performances included Conks boys senior Robin Cheema, who took fourth with a time of 16:01, Falcons boys senior Alexander Martinez, who placed fifth with a time of 16:10 and Chargers senior Sterling Bath, who placed sixth with a time of 16:16.
The top nine teams and top 45 finishers qualified for the district meet this weekend at American Lake Golf Course. There, the Bears girls will fight to defend their title from last year, while the Bears boys will race against last year’s state champions, Gig Harbor.
“We’re going to work hard and see,” Tiernan said. “Our coaches know our potential. I think they’re going to work off of that.”