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Update | Tahoma boys take home district cross country crown | Cross country
After taking third last year, losing only to top-ranked Puyallup and Gig Harbor, the Bears boys slugged it out in the midst of a torrential downpour, winning with 93 points against the Tides’ 96.
Kentwood’s boys placed fifth with a score of 192 while the Kentridge boys took 11th with a score of 262 and Kentlake’s boys placed 15th at 307.
The Chargers girls took 11th with a score of 292. The Conquerors girls placed 14th at 304, while the Royals girls placed 16th with 387.
Gary Conner, Tahoma’s head coach, said while he is happy with the victory, the season isn’t over until the state meet, which makes the district meet a “stepping stone.”
“We ran this meet just to see who’s out there,” Conner said. “We hadn’t faced Bellarmine Prep. We hadn’t faced Camas. Now we know. We’re going to have to run better than this weekend.”
The time gap between the No. 1 and No. 5 runners in the boys race, he said, was around 40 seconds, which is too great. In order to take state, Conner said, they will have to shorten it to around 36 seconds.
The Bears girls took second, scoring 72 against top-ranked Camas, which scored 29. Last year, Tahoma narrowly missed the district title by a mere two points against Bellarmine Prep, 77-79. The Bears girls will defend their 4A state title at the meet Saturday.
Given the experience Tahoma had last year with a second place finish for the girls at districts which led into a state crown, Conner is confident the girls, as well as the boys, will be able to pull it off this year.
“We’ve got to race another day,” he said. “But I think we’ve got a really good race ahead of us. We’ve just got to beat Gig Harbor again. If we beat Gig Harbor again good thing are going to happen.”
Leading the Bears boys was junior Riley Campbell, who placed sixth, the highest of any boy runner from the Kent and Tahoma school districts with a time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds. Senior James Dagley came in close behind with a time of 16:02, compared to last year’s 10th place, and 20th place the year before that.
Top individual runners in the boys race included Falcons senior Alexander Martinez, who came in 10th with a time of 16:07, and Conks junior Robin Cheema, who placed 19th with a time of 16:22.
In the girls race, Tahoma senior Elizabeth Oosterhout placed fifth, the highest of any runner in the Tahoma or Kent school districts, with a time of 18:42, matching her fifth place last year, but with an 18 second improvement. Sophomore Delaney Tiernan came in eighth with a time of 18:51.
Other individual times in the girls race included Bears sophomore Abby Atchison at 19:27 and sophomore Amanda Kiefer, who crossed the finish line at 19:28.
The top eight teams advance to the state championship which is set for Saturday at the Sun Willows Golf course in Pasco.