SK hoping for strong showing at state meet

There are no visions of grandeur for three South Kitsap runners when it comes to the state cross-country championships.

And while a state championship appears doubtful, the Wolves at least hope for a competitive showing when they hit Sun Willows Golf Course today in Pasco.

South sends Britta Peterson to compete in the Class 4A championship at 2 p.m., while Jon Phillips and Kyle Stolp run for the boys team at 3:30 p.m.

“I’m glad I’m going because I didn’t think I was going to make it right before districts,” Peterson said.

She finished 21st at 19 minutes, 38 seconds at last week’s West Central District Tournament at the 3.1-mile American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood to qualify. The top 30 competitors advanced to state.

The finish was significant for the Wolves, who failed to send a girls runner to state last year.

“I’m glad at least somebody made it,” Peterson said. “I wish someone else would’ve made it, but we’re not a very strong team this year.”

Peterson said her success at districts stemmed from running with more confidence.

“I guess I just wanted to beat some people, like North Kitsap, and wanted to move up with a faster time,” she said. “For our team, it’s a good goal to beat North Kitsap and Central Kitsap.”

Phillips is the lone South competitor who competed at state a year ago. He finished 39th in 16:54. The Wolves’ other competitor, Trevor Boaz, finished 128th among 150 runners at 18:12, since has graduated.

Stolp, who placed 27th in 16:41.4 at districts, might be more competitive.

“It’s kind of a flatter course with some rolling hills,” Stolp said. “I think I just need to focus on the people around me, particularly from Central and North, and go after them.”

South nearly sent its entire boys team as it finished seventh with 198 points at districts. The top six teams qualified for state and the Wolves finished 13 points behind Puyallup.

“It wasn’t as bad as last year when we missed it by a point,” Stolp said. “We have a young team and I think they learned their lesson.”

There were 646 boys — Phillips finished 72nd overall — and 632 girls who competed at state last year when all the classes are combined.

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