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Cougar cross country wraps up successful and emotional season
Both the Lady Cougars and their male counterparts placed in the top-8 at the 2A state championships Saturday, Nov. 4 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
The boys narrowly missed a well-earned spot on the winners podium with their fifth-place finish total of 169 points.
Ellensburg eked them out with 168 points and cross country is a relatively rare sport in that the teams with the lowest score wins.
Surely senior captain Scott Skiles was smiling from heaven as his teammates covered the 5K (3.1-mile) course under brisk conditions.
Skiles died in a car accident shortly after being nominated team captain and just prior to the beginning of the season. He placed second in 2005 and many predicted he would stand atop the winners podium this year.
Freshman Taylor Guske led the way for the Cougars with a 23rd place finish time of 17:23.
Senior James Ervin came in 36th overall in a time of 17:38, sophomore Nick Devier 39th in 17:45, juniors Trevor Walker 52nd in 17:55 and Terrence Ordonez placed 73rd out of 137 harriers in 18:07.
Senior Davis Dye came in 101st in 18:41 and junior Miles Rossow was right behind in a time of 18:42 to round out the scoring.
Coach Jeff Sowards said the boys came in ranked sixth in the state and despite just missing a fourth-place finish performed very well.
A couple of them may have been disappointed, but they know that they did the best they could and we are very proud, Sowards said.
Next year they will be really strong as we only graduate two guys. A couple of them have already re-dedicated themselves for next year.
He pointed out that the team didnt do anything out of the ordinary before the race in honor of Skiles, but his impact was felt throughout the season.
Since that passing he had the inspiration in the coaches and runners all season long, he said. We took examples from Scotts legacy all year. His memory maybe gave us a clearer person.
The Lady Cougars placed eighth out of 16 teams with 213 points and were led by senior Corrine Gogert.
Gogert came in 35th overall out of 144 in a time of 20:48.
She was followed by classmate Danielle Osti, who finished 63rd in 21:34. Junior Sarah Dunn placed 71st in 21:51, sophomore Lacey Nation 83rd in 22:23, freshmen Chelsea Sowards 84th in 22:25 and Keeley Caldwell 115th in 23:59.
Senior Michelle Howe rounded out the team effort with a 121st place time of 24:10.
On the girls side we came in ranked eighth whatever the rankings mean, coach Sowards said.
I thought regardless of the times we raced very well. It would have been awful nice to come home with a trophy but nobody is hanging their heads. Looking back we have a great coaching staff, parent support and the administration has been very supportive. We are very fortunate and look forward to next year.