CROSS COUNTRY | South Kitsap’s Villarma falls short of state

LAKEWOOD — He takes solace in one fact.

After finishing well outside of making a state cut during Saturday’s Westside Classic, South Kitsap junior Mason Villarma knows he has another year of eligibility remaining to accomplish that feat.

Villarma placed 92nd during the 5-kilometer run in 18 minutes, 7.6 seconds at American Lake Veterans Golf Course. Olympia’s Peter Kesting won the event in 16:10.65.

“One of those days,” Villarma said. “It was not a good race. Not a good representation for my team. I’ll be carrying it all winter.”

Villarma finished 21st in 16:52.18 during the Oct. 23 Class 4A Narrows League Cross Country Championships at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, but times on that course were much faster this year than the ones posted at American Lake. For example, Gig Harbor’s Wolfgang Beck won that race in 15:06.75.

But Villarma thought the larger issue was related to his offseason. While many of his teammates were logging 600 running miles during the summer, he was working on an Alaskan commercial fishing boat. Villarma said that hindered his endurance.

“I’m definitely going to consider how to manipulate my training schedule this summer,” he said, adding that he likely will work in Alaska again this summer.

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