Lakewood harriers finish 8th at state

Lakewood runners Rachel Sowards, 387, and Kelsey Anderson, 380, help the Cougar girls to an eighth-place finish. - Photo courtesy of Randy Ordonez
Lakewood runners Rachel Sowards, 387, and Kelsey Anderson, 380, help the Cougar girls to an eighth-place finish.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Randy Ordonez

PASCO — The harriers of Lakewood High School started the 2010 cross country season with the commitment to bring love, conditioning and unity into the culture of their team. These “core covenants” selected by the team, have shaped the identity of Cougar cross country.

“The team expressed those (covenants) through the season and cared for each other through the action of love and working together as a team,” said Lakewood head coach Jeff Sowards. “Unity, they worked the hardest on.”

At the state championship, Nov. 6, the Cougars stepped to the starting line with not only a goal to perform well, but to uphold their team and school with their dedication to these covenants.

A complete girls team and three boys represented Lakewood High School at the 2A meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

Junior Rachel Cundy led the Lady Cougars and finished the 5,000-meter course in a time of 19:18, earning a 12th-place spot on the podium. She was followed by teammates Chelsea Stokes (19:44, 27th), Rachel Sowards (20:27, 56th), Kelsey Anderson (20:54, 77th), and Sara Newman (21:25,98th).

“I love my girls and we couldn’t have accomplished anything this season without each other,” Stokes said, reflecting on her race.

As a team, the girls were able to edge conference competitor Cedarcrest High School by 24 points for an eighth-place finish.

After a placing fifth at the district meet, one place away from a team-qualifying spot, the Lakewood boys were only able to send three individual qualifiers. The boys were led by senior captain Trent Tresch with a 21st-place finish and time of 16:30. He was followed by teammates Avery Jensen (16:40, 33rd) and Kris Mugrage (17:00, 61st).

“It was different qualifying as an individual this year,” Tresch said. “Because for the past three years I went with great teams, (but) on Saturday at state, all three of us gave our best for that day and represented Lakewood well. I know that next year the varsity boys will start another state streak. I couldn’t be prouder of those boys.”

So, with the closing of another season, the Lakewood cross country team still has big expectations and hopes for the future, but one thing will continue: the commitment to live as a team through love, conditioning and unity.

The Class 2A boys and girls team state titles were taken by Sehome High School. Individual state titles went to Scott Carlyle of Sehome with a time of 15:31 and Sarah Reiter of Lindbergh with a time of 18:03.

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