LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood Cougars’ cross country team hosted the annual Cascade Conference Preview on Wednesday, Sept. 11, taking first place in the men’s division and second place in the women’s division.
Junior Douglas Davis took first place in the meet, with a final time of 9:19.8 for the 3,000-meter race. Senior Mitchell Darrah took third place with a time of 9:21.3, while senior Drew Cabales took fifth place with a time of 9:34. Senior Preston Davis took ninth place with a time of 10:04.9 and junior Alex Cooper took 10th place with a time of 10:09.3.
For the women’s division, sophomore Britney Albro took fourth place with a time of 11:57.3. Junior Darby Throndsen took sixth place with a time of 12:05.7. Freshman Keely Hall took 10th place with a time of 12:17.1.
“I think if you ask the team they would say it’s good to start racing,” said head coach Jeff Sowards. “They have worked really hard all summer since the end of track — 15 weeks of good hard work. And that hard work paying off finally is good to see in the race. We had some timed trials in the summer to gauge how they were doing, but they definitely did a good job at the Preview meet and the Sun Dodger meet on Saturday.”
The Cascade Conference Preview meet was particularly successful for the Cougars, considering how their competition is ranked.
“At the Preview meet, the girls were second place — only four points behind Cedarcrest — and Cedarcrest is ranked No. 5 in the state,” said Sowards. “The boys were first place over Cedarcrest, which is ranked second in the state. We have a lot of upperclassmen on the team so we are strong that way, and our underclassmen are doing a great job as well.”
The Cougars competed at the Sun Dodger Invitational at the University of Washington on Saturday, Sept. 14, and ultimately broke a school record.
“Our boys’ 5x3-miles set a new school record — a time of 1.5 seconds faster than any team that Lakewood has ever run,” said Sowards. “The course at the Sun Dodger is actually 4,922 meters long, and to the casual observer that might not mean a lot, but you can’t count it as a school record for 5,000. They would have broken the 5K record as well if it was.”
That group was made up of Douglas Davis, Mitchell Darra, Drew Cabales, Alex Cooper and Connor Smith. The final time for the record was 79 minutes and 46 seconds.
The girls’ group took 14th overall out of 28 schools at the Sun Dodger.
“It was a pretty significant performance on the girls side,” said Sowards. “The difference between our first girl and our ninth girl was only 57 seconds. As coaches we like to keep it less than a minute for the first five, but we kept it under a minute for the first nine. We had great performances by everybody. It’s all within 21 places. To have nine girls in 21 places is pretty amazing and we will continue to move those girls up in the race.”
The Cougars will compete at a meet on Thursday, Sept. 19, hosted by King’s at 4 p.m. The following weekend, the top seven girls and the top seven boys will go to California for the Stanford Invite and the rest will head to the Mount Baker Invite.