Peninsula High School’s McKenzi Bravo had little to complain about when it came to course conditions.
Not only was it sunny Saturday morning, but she had long since won her 5-kilometer race when a fierce hailstorm hit Fort Steilacoom Park.
Peninsula’s girls took four of the top five spots in the Class 3A South Puget Sound League sub-district meet to win the team competition with 23 points.
“It feels great,” said Bravo, who won in 19 minutes, 5.40 seconds. “We were excited for this meet (and) we’re really excited for districts.”
Bravo said that despite the chilly temperature resulting in a slower time than usual, the race went well.
“It was cold, but it wasn’t dusty because it was wet out,” she said. “When it’s dusty, it gets in your eyes, and it’s hard to see, so today was good.”
The Lakes boys cruised to their second consecutive team title a year after the graduation of star runner Izaic Yorks, who now runs at the University of Portland. Coach Joe Clark said he told his team before the season that it could continue its winning ways.
“We said that we lost two seniors off varsity, but that we’re bringing everyone else back,” he said, “so if everyone improves, we can be even better. And that’s what they’ve bought into.”
Lakes junior Stephen Nelson, who finished second in 16:27.80, said the returning runners have made up for the loss of the seniors.
“We lost Izaic, but we’re still a really good team,” he said. “We’ve been working really hard.”
Kennedy Catholic senior Nick Dorsett won the 3A boys race in 16:14.10.
Tahoma senior James Dagley’s winning time of 15:56.00 helped his team to the 4A boys team title with 47 points. Tahoma’s girls also won with 26 points, besting second-place finisher Auburn Riverside by 100, while reigning state champion Jordan McPhee of Mount Rainier defended her meet title in 18:01.90.
McPhee, a junior, said she is focused on beating herself – not the competition – at this point in the season. “I just went out there to run my hardest and try to hit my splits,” she said. “I hit them pretty well, so it was a good day.”
In the 2A competition, Lindbergh senior Mohamud Abdi (16:00.00) and Franklin Pierce senior Julia Johnson (19:44.9) won, along with Lindbergh’s boys (53) and Sumner’s girls (55).