SK boys third at league meet

When it comes to cross-country in the Narrows League, it’s Gig Harbor and everybody else.

South Kitsap didn’t exactly bridge that gulf Wednesday at the 5-kilometer Narrows League Cross-Country Championships at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, but the Wolves’ boys team had three of the top 13 finishers.

Jon Phillips paced the Wolves in 16 minutes, 20.93 seconds to finish seventh, while Kyle Stolp (16:42.78, 12th), Aaron Terry (16:44.94, 13th) and Jeffery Robinson (17:09.28, 25th) all placed high enough to qualify for the Oct. 27 district meet at American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood. The top 30 boys and girls qualified for districts.

But the Wolves will be able to take their entire boys team to the competition because they were among the top six teams.

South finished third among 10 teams with 96 points, behind Gig Harbor (36) and North Kitsap (88).

“They all raced pretty well,” South coach Paul Zimmer said. “They’re pretty deep.”

Phillips — along with the rest of the field — finished well behind Gig Harbor’s Miles Unterreiner (15:20.71), who was nearly 20 seconds better than second-place finisher Kevin Rosaaen (15:40.13) from Wilson.

Phillips blames an off-field incident, which resulted in him not running in the Wolves’ last varsity meet, for what he considered a sub-standard performance.

“I made a stupid choice and it’s affected my season,” he said. “Now I’m just trying to get back to where I was.”

That includes getting his legs healthy.

“I’m kind of mad that half of a mile into the race everything was extremely tight, as if I had half of a mile left,” he said, adding that he also struggles to retain fluids because he sweats profusely. “It’s like the most excruciating race I’ve run. I almost passed out at the end because of it.”

Bellarmine Prep’s Nicole Cochran similarly dominated the girls field in 18:08.21.

Gig Harbor’s Alyssa Andrews (18:24.15) was second.

No one from South finished in the top 20, which left the Wolves seventh among nine teams with 213 points and out of districts. Gig Harbor (37) placed first among the schools.

“I was a little disappointed,” said Zimmer, adding that inexperience hindered the girls team this season. “I thought we would be top six for sure.”

Britta Peterson (20:30.40, 22nd) was the lone girls runner from South to qualify for districts.

“I was OK, but I feel I could’ve done better,” Peterson said. “I just have to run with more confidence.”

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