South Kitsap eyes state berths | Cross County

South Kitsap’s girls cross-country team appears to have momentum as it enters Saturday’s Westside Cross Country Classic.

Senior Jessica Peterson placed fifth in 19 minutes, 7.86 seconds during last week’s 5-kilometer Class 4A Narrows League at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood.

“For Jessica, running her best time of the season really helps,” South coach Paul Zimmer said. “I thought Jessica had a pretty excellent race.”

Senior Darby Womack, who is running cross country for the first time this season, finished directly behind Peterson in 19:14.19. Womack said her biggest challenge is to “maintain” the progress she has made this season because she has not done it before.

Others, such as senior Justine Morris, benefit from the team’s success. She finished 35th in the league meet (21:33.56), but qualified for the district meet because the Wolves finished fourth. Both the top four boys’ and girls’ teams at that meet advance to the Westside Classic, which is held at American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood.

At the Westside Classic, the top eight teams and 40 individuals will qualify for the Nov. 3 state meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

“So much of cross country is being mentally tough,” Morris said. “I think we have it within us to move onto state.”

Zimmer remains hopeful that the girls team could be even stronger at the Westside meet. That is because he is hopeful senior Keegan Tasker, who has missed all but one meet this season because of plantar fasciitis in her foot, can run Saturday. Because the girls team qualified for the meet, Tasker is eligible to run.

“She’s going to give it a try,” Zimmer said.

While the girls team is looking for a return trip to Pasco, South’s boys team is just aiming to get there. The Wolves missed qualifying for state by two points last year.

“We’re not really looking at times,” said senior LaForrest Church, who finished 12th in the league meet in 16:51.56. “We just want to pass as many people as possible.”

That is because the boys aim to accumulate as many points as possible to qualify for state as a team. Church said individual performances can wait for state.

“We have to run really smart at districts,” he said. “We need to be nice and balanced and have a smart race.”

4A boys standingsTeam-1, Gig Harbor 30; 2 Olympia 70; 3, South Kitsap 90; 4, Bellarmine Prep 92; 5, Central Kitsap 106; 6, Stadium 108; 7, Yelm 219.Individual-1, Wolfgang Beck (GH) 15:21.46; 2, Logan Carroll (GH) 1:27.79; 3, Peter Kesting (OLY) 15:52.45; 4, Nate Van Haitsma (OLY) 15:55.93; 5, Tristan Peloquin (GH) 16:07.95; 6, Wyatt Halverson (OLY) 16:23.20; 7, Cameron Carroll (CK) 16:25.26; 8, Michael Hammer (GH) 16:34.21; 9, Cameron Freshwaters (STAD) 16:38.90; 10, Shay Glackin-Coley (STAD) 16:40.70.

4A girls standingsTeam-1, Bellarmine Prep 35; 2, Central Kitsap 70; 3, Olympia 80; 4, South Kitsap 97; 5, Gig Harbor 106; 6, Yelm 158; 7, Stadium 190.Individual-1, Sofia Kane (OLY) 18:19.12; 2, Rose Christen (CK) 18:28.51; 3, Hannah Derby (BP) 18:39.03; 4, Daryl Phill (BP) 18:53.42; 5, Jessica Peterson (SK) 19:07.86; 6, Darby Womack (SK) 19:14.19; 7, Camilla Kristensen (YELM) 19:22.44; 8, Jordan Thurston (BP) 19:22.77; 9, Laura Staeheli (BP) 19:24.54; 10, Sophie Carroll (CK) 19:34.83.

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