LAKEWOOD — The largest cross country invitational in the state of Washington, the Hole in the Wall, is hosted each year by Lakewood High School — and this year was no exception as the school saw more than 2,000 runners and 72 schools compete on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Cross country runners from middle school to high school from across the state and even outside the country competed, but Arlington and Lakewood high schools still managed to take top spots and finish with a number of personal records.
"Lakewood High School had quite a few kids with PRs, which we are really pleased with," said Jeff Sowards, LHS head coach. "I thought the kids ran pretty solid. The top two varsity performances were Ariel Jensen with a 19.41 and Alex Cooper with a 17.20. Douglas Davis ran the fastest, with just over 17."
The Lakewood Middle School girls team took the top spot in the 1.72 mile race with an average time of 12:05.6 and their boys team placed third with an average time of 11:51.Local freshman and sophomore boys topped the list for the 5,000 meter as well, with Arlington High School's team taking third, with an average time of 18:28.3 and Lakewood's team taking 19th with an average finish of 20:03.5.
Lakewood's JV girls team placed eighth with an average time of 22:27.7, followed closely by Arlington's JV girls team in ninth place with an average finishing time of 22:40.4. Lakewood's JV boys team finished in 14th place with an average time of 19:33.4.
Arlington's JV boys team took 10th place with an average time of 20:43.3.Varsity team performances cracked the top 20 as well, with Arlington's varsity boys team score placing them at No. 7 with an average time of 18:08.7.
Lakewood girls varsity rounded up a 17th place finish with an average time of 21:16.7.Arlington's stellar single performances included freshman Nathan Beamer who took third place with a time of 17:36. Arlington's Austin Henderson placed 20th in the varsity competition with a finish of 17:38.3.
Coleman Cummings finished at 17:55.3 and Nicholas Taylor finished at 17:56.2. Sophomore Cassidy Rude finished with a 19:36.2 while Emma Janousek finished with a 19:56.2.
Lakewood's Brandon Shepard finished with an 18:10.4 and Matt Studzinski finished with an 18:29.6. Preston Davis finished with an 18:36.1 and Connor Smith finished with an 18:53.6. Douglas Davis finished in the varsity competition with a 17:04.9.Drew Cabales finished with a 17:25.2.
"Preston Davis ran about 59 seconds faster than he has every run this season," said Sowards. "Ellen Knowles ran 37 seconds faster than she ever has."Knowles finished with a time of 22:03.4 and Chiara Flores finished with a 22:09.2, keeping both of them in the top 30 JV performances.
Varsity girls performances for Lakewood were also a success, with Jensen finishing in 29th place with a 19:41.4. Darby Thronsden finished at 21:11.8 and Rachel Sowards finished with a 21:30.3. Lilly Whitehead finished with a 21:56.2, Sara Newman finished at 22:04.1, Alisa Smith finished at 22:09.1 and Celine Espinoza finished with a 22:40.2.
"This meet is obviously really big now and some of the things that come with that grow exponentially," said Sowards. "We have a new scoring system and a new timing system, but our volunteers did an awesome job."
Lakewood runners are now gearing up for the Cascade Conference Championships at South Whidbey on Oct. 20.