Wolves cruise to convincing wins in Fort Steilacoom meet

South Kitsap’s cross-country team flexed its muscles on Saturday, topping a field of 44 other teams from around the state to take first place in both the boys and girls divisions at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational in Tacoma.

The Wolves’ Chris Godfrey topped the course record in the six-year-old event, posting a time of 15:50.7 over the 5,000-meter course. As a team, South Kitsap finished with a score of 45, well ahead of its nearest rival, West Valley, which turned in an 85.

“We ran this course twice last year,” said SK Coach Ed Santos. “Every single kid ran it faster this time than last year. They were just awesome today.”

In addition to Godfrey, the Woilves’ Drew Polley (16:13.0, sixth) and Justin Culver (16:14.3, seventh) recorded top 10 finishes to lift SK to the team title.

Other finishers included Steven Millard (16:44.2, 15th), Justin Schench (16:47.5, 16th), Sean Coleman (16:50.7, 18th) and Nate Jones (17:50.6, 68th).

Among the girls, South Kitsap’s Danielle Friend was the top finisher at 19:30.7, to place third. But Eileen Morley came in sixth with a time of 19:34.1, Samantha Godfrey recorded a 19:40.3 in eighth place, and Katie Rosapepe’s 19:58.2 was good enough for 11th place.

Seattle Christian’s Allison Ritchie took first in the girl’s division in a course-record time of 19:11.9.

As a team, the South Kitsap girls finished with 55 points, also well ahead of their nearest competitor, Stanwood, with 83.

Other strong finishers for the Wolves were Katie McCausland (20:59.2, 27th), Bre Mercer (21:04.8, 29th) and Lynette Millard (22:12.7, 69th).

“Last year on this same course, only one of our runners on the boys’ team topped 17 minutes,” Santos noted. “This year, six of them did. On the girls’ side, only two of our runners topped 20 minutes last year. This year four of them did.”

Santos said he is expecially gratified by this year’s performance in that the Narrows League finals this year will be held on the same Tacoma course.

“We’ve run here before, and we’ve practiced here,” Santos said. “We’re very comfortable on this course and that can only help us when it comes time for the league meet.”

The Wolves will host Bremerton and North Kitsap on Wednesday, but Santos said his team is looking forward to next weekend’s Bellevue Invitational at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The meet will feature 50 teams from around the state, including five of the top 10-ranked boys teams and five of the top six on the girls’ side.

“That should give us a real good idea of where we are with respect to the rest of the state,” Santos said.

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