The Kent-Meridian boys cross country team got it done this past Saturday during the 29-team district meet at Tacoma’s American Lake Golf Course while the Tahoma girl’s squad finished in second place.
Behind predictably solid performances from DJ Jigre, Derrick Daigre and Matt Bailey, the Royals brought home a sixth-place finish with 163 points, which was just good enough for the entire K-M team to advance to the state meet (Nov. 7 at Pasco’s Sun Willows Golf Course).
The top 30 individuals and six teams from the district meet advance to the state meet.
Gig Harbor edged out Auburn Riverside, taking the team title with 75 points followed by the Ravens at 86. Bellarmine Prep finished a distant third with 144 points. Locally, Kent-Meridian was the highest team placer among boys, followed by seventh-place Tahoma (180), eight-place Kentridge (201) and Kentwood (277), which took 11th.
Gig Harbor edged Tahoma for the girls title as well, 50-60, followed by Bellarmine Prep (96).
Of all the local placers, nobody outdid K-M’s Alexia Martin for the second week in a row. Martin, a sophomore, served up a personal best for the second-consecutive week, breaking the tape in 18:42, which was good enough for a second-place finish. Gig Harbor’s Maureen Trembley won the crown with a time of 18:26.6, followed by Martin and then Tahoma’s Julianna Mock (18:52.7) and Elizabeth Oosterhout (18:56.7).
Kentwood’s Kailey Ulland, who took eighth with a time of 19:10.1, was the only other local female to earn a berth at the state meet.
“She’s just a real gamer,” said Kentwood coach Ken Paul. “She’s competitive and has been working hard all year.”
Danny Lunder, a Kentwood sophomore, may have provided the biggest surprise of the meet. Lunder, a first-year cross country runner, sizzled at the district meet, clocking in at 16:40.5, which was good enough for 20th place. Interestingly, Lunder did not open the season as Kentwood’s top runner and only ascended to that level in recent weeks.
“He has come a long ways,” said Paul. “We knew right away that this kid had a lot of ability and potential. He has progressed all the way to the No. 1 (slot) in the last three weeks. I figured he would get to this level. When I talked to him in the spring about coming out in the fall, I knew he’d be a player.”
Alex Horton, who took 30th with a time of 16:52.9 was the lone Kentridge runner to earn a state berth. Kentlake did not advance a single male or female runner to state. Meanwhile, Tahoma, which traditionally challenges for the district team title, pushed two boys on to state — Casey Campbell (6th/16:02.7) and James Dagley (27th/16:45.2).
The Tahoma girls will advance its entire team to state, led by Mock and Oosterhout. Tahoma’s Hannah Mittelstaedt (10th/19:13.3) and Lauren Clawson (19th/19:39.8) also finished among the top 30 at the district meet.