Eagles cross country runs with Pre at Wesco championships

LAKEWOOD Cross country is a team sport that allows runners to run, jump, and sprint across varied terrain in unpredictable weather.
The Wesco and Cascade Conference championships at Lakewood High School allowed the Cougar harriers to do just that as they raced around the 5K (3.1-mile) course Saturday, Oct. 21.
Fortunately for the teens, they were greeted with unseasonably warm weather.
Coach Mike Shierk gave each of his runners a small piece of paper with the picture of the late, great runner Steve Prefontaine and the words Pre lives.
He said they pinned it to their singlet and he gave parting words of inspiration just before they exited the bus.
I told the kids today you have to run with heart. Run with Pre, he said.
The Lady Eagles finished sixth out of nine teams with 149 points and their male counterparts came in ninth place with 188 points.
Kristina Bosket led Arlington with a twelfth-place overall finish time of 20:22.
Safa Pinkens came in 23rd in a time of 21:06, Sarah Rayner finished 33rd in 22:30, Nikki Doggett 40th in 22:46 and Colleen McElroy rounded out the scoring with a 48th-place time of 23:20.
Paul Simbeck led the Eagles with a 21st-place finish time of 17:22. Luke Passalacqua who came in two places and seconds behind his teammate followed him.
The two have alternated coming in first and second place throughout the season.
Simbeck said despite his finish time being slower than I wanted he felt good about his performance.
We (me and Passalacqua) are trying different strategies, he said. I think were more confident. Its helping with our general mindset. Today was kind of weird because we had to wait until the 1:20 p.m. start. There is always room for improvement. We are looking forward to state. There is a lot of tough competition there, but we will just take it as it comes.
John Tilton came in 46th in 18:07, Jeremy Goheen finished two places and eight seconds later and Charlie Ewell rounded out the scoring with a 56th-place time of 18:31.
Shierk said his squad did really well on the sunny afternoon.
I think the times on this course were slower than the Hole in the Wall earlier in the season, Shierk said. He said the coaching staff and squad are trying to fine tune the machine as they head into districts and state competition.
On the girls side, I was happy with Kristinas performance. My first goal is to qualify both the boys and girls teams for districts, but if not, I am convinced we can get two of each to advance to state.

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