It took 25 years for Bellarmine Prep’s boys and girls cross country teams to win league titles in the same season as part of the 4A Narrows League.
It took one year as a member of the 4A South Puget Sound League.
That’s probably as much a compliment to how tough the Narrows was as it is for how tough the Lions’ cross country programs have been, especially the past two years as they won the 4A SPSL boys and girls titles on Wednesday at Fort Steilacoom Park a year after sweeping the 4A Narrows titles.
“Now the standard has been set,” Bellarmine boys coach Keith Wren said. “We want to compete for league, district and state titles every year now. We’ve got kids who work really hard, they got talent and you see what happened today.”
Bellarmine’s Cameron Wyman won the boys race in 15 minutes, 25.20 seconds, just ahead of Curtis’ Ben Jacot, who finished in 15:29.60.
Wyman is the second consecutive Bellarmine runner to win a league title after Jack Yearian, who is now at the University of Oregon, won the 4A Narrows title last year.
Wyman wore a pink hair band to hold back his hair throughout the race and decided to bring out his pink gloves, as well.
“I have a few pairs of these,” Wyman said, showing off his gloves. “I bought them myself.”
He also runs the 800 and 1,600 in track and field, so he said his strategy was to stick with the front of the pack and turn it on in the final 200 meters to the finish.
“There’s nobody in the state that’s going to keep up with Cameron with 200 to go,” Wren said. “No one has Cameron’s kick. His race plan was set, he followed it perfectly and he got himself a championship.”
Bellarmine’s Luke Ostrander took third in 15:40.70, Spencer Fischer was fourth (15:45.60), Ben Sherman was sixth (15:58.30) and Deven Patel was eighth (16:05.60). Bellarmine had 22 points to second-place Olympia’s 105 and South Kitsap’s 115.
Each of those three schools were 4A Narrows schools last year. Curtis finished fourth with 120 points.
Puyallup’s Rachel Kastama cruised to the 4A SPSL girls title in 18:30.40 despite Sumner sophomore Emma Sjolund entering the race with a better time. Sjolund finished second in 18:46.40.
“I’m just glad it’s done,” Kastama said. “I can go home, do homework. I’m proud of myself, I really am. Next step — districts. See how I can do and hopefully go to state.”
The top six schools in each race qualified for the Westside Classic on Oct. 29 at American Lake Veterans Golf Course.
Bellarmine’s girls team won with 62 points to South Kitsap’s 74. Curtis was third with 82.
“Today we kind of wanted to simulate state,” Wren said. “We went out faster than we have, trying to get used to what it’s going to look like at state. It’s going to go. We got to make sure we are there and going with the leaders.”
TIDES, SEAHAWKS TAKE TITLES
Bradley Peloquin felt the weight pulling him down.
It was his watch. He didn’t realize he had it on, but the Gig Harbor sophomore spotted his father about a half-mile into the race and chucked it toward him mid-stride.
“I never run with the watch,” Peloquin said. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Despite the interesting mishap, Peloquin still went on to finish in first place in 16:01.10 and lead the Tides to a 3A South Sound Conference team title with 27 points to second-place Capital’s 76.
Bradley Peloquin gave the Peloquin siblings their fourth league title. His older brother, Tristan, won in 2014, and sister, Brenna, won in 2014 and 2011. Though Tristan Peloquin’s win came in 15:26.84.
“They wished me good luck and support,” Bradley Peloquin said. “But I definitely didn’t approach my brother’s time.”
A Peloquin has finished in the top five in the league championships every year since 2007. Bradley Peloquin was third last year. Conner Peloquin owns the top Peloquin time at Fort Steilacoom, with a 15:14.37 finish for second in 2009.
Peninsula won the 3A SSC girls team title with 31 points to second-place Central Kitsap’s 48 points.
CK’s Molly Fischer won the individual title after winning the 3A Narrows title last year.
She was well behind Capital’s Bella Torres the first half of the race, before turning on her trademark kick to finish first in a personal-record 19:04.90.
“I think there was a second there that I started to lose faith,” Fischer said. “And then I was like, ‘No, Molly. Put that out, OK, because you can still do it.’”
Peninsula’s Ashley Fahey was third in 19:27.40 and Stephanie VanderBank was fourth in 19:37.60.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677