Puyallup: Sports

Sjolund sets personal best, earns 12th place at state meet

After taking second place in at the West Central District 3 meet at the 3A Westside Classic, Sumner High sophomore Emma Sjolund was determined the make her race at the 3A state cross country meet her best yet.
After taking second place in at the West Central District 3 meet at the 3A Westside Classic, Sumner High sophomore Emma Sjolund was determined the make her race at the 3A state cross country meet her best yet. Staff photographer

Sumner High sophomore Emma Sjolund’s resolve is resolute, as the Spartan sprinter aims to be the best she can in cross country.

After taking second place in at the West Central District 3 meet at the 3A Westside Classic, Sjolund was determined the make her race at the 3A state cross country meet her best yet. But to do that, she needed to keep everything the same.

“I’m trying to stay relaxed in my races and not focus on the conditions and the competition,” Sjolund said last week before leaving for Pasco. “It’s about just doing what I can do to perform at my best.”

It was simple for Sjolund heading into the state meet at Pasco this past weekend. Even though she had a chance to really turn heads her sophomore season, the Spartan runner kept it all in perspective. It’s a personal vision she carries with her.

“I really want to get under 19 minutes and see where I finish,” Sjolund said. “I’m not too worried about where I finish.”

“I think she can finish top-10 if things go right for her,” Sumner coach Karen Weber said before the duo left.

Half of what Sjolund and Weber were hoping for came to fruition at state, as Sjolund finished with a time of 18 minutes, 56.6 seconds, good enough for 12th place in the 3A classification.

Sjolund was one of seven members from the Sumner’s girls team to reach state (the Spartans also had two alternates).

The girls team finished in 14th place with a score of 317 points, as Petria Russell (20:34, 83rd), Emma Gronholdt (20:41, 87th), Bailey Thomson (21:26.9, 115th), Abby Marcotte (21:44.6, 125th), Madison Neubert (21:50.7, 126th) and Morgan Friesel (22:18.1, 133rd) joined Sjolund at state.

Pacing himself

As the girls team was well represented, the Sumner boys team’s sole representative was junior Joel Mott.

“It’s kind of a lot of pressure, but I’m really enjoying it,” Mott said of his lone representation. “I really like the opportunity to go to state, as this is a new experience for me. I hope to run well and to do my best.”

Mott had a strong showing at state as the junior finished with a time of 16:43.5, good for 77th place. Mott’s time was just off his personal best of 16:38, set Oct. 14.

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