Lakewood CC teams take 10th

LANGLEY — At a meet that’s at least as competitive as the district contest itself that will take place here later this season, the Lakewood cross country team visited league rival South Whidbey as they hosted dozens of elite teams from the region.

While both the Cougar boys and girls teams placed squarely in the middle of their varsity races with each taking 10th place, Lakewood got a chance to see teams like district rivals Sehome, King’s and South Whidbey as well as 4A powerhouses like Jackson and Lake Stevens.

And just as coach Jeff Sowards indicated at the beginning of the season, the Lakewood girls run a tight cluster. From sophomore Chelsea Stokes who finished first for the team and 38th overall in 20:20 to junior Chelsea Sowards who ran in the last scoring slot and finished 71st overall in 21:13, less than a minute divided their times, which bodes well for their ability to score as a team.

Senior Lacey Nation (53rd, 20:43), freshman Rachel Cundy (60th, 20:54) and junior Amber Burnell (68th, 21:12) finished between the girls to help lead Lakewood to their 10th place finish.

In one of the team’s first meets of the season, junior Taylor Guske was already running a 5k time near his personal best from last season. With a time of 16:36, about 20 seconds faster than his pace at the same meet last season, Guske led the Lakewood boys to their own 10th place finish with a 21st place individual finish.

All of the Lakewood boys’ scoring five finished the course in under 18 minutes. Senior Nick Devier was the second Cougar boy across the finish line, taking 49th place in a 17:06 time.

This is Guske and Devier’s second season leading the Cougar squad.

But while the guys continue their speedy ways, Sowards said he doesn’t think the two compete against each other so much as themselves.

“I think (Guske) is challenging himself and happens to have a fast teammate,” Sowards said of Guske’s team-leading finish.

Junior Chad Skiles finished within a minute of Guske in 17:26. Sophomore Trent Tresch was 80th overall and fourth for the team in 17:46 after a freshman season in which he had proved competitive with his older teammates. His time was about 45 seconds faster than last year at the South Whidbey Invite. Senior Bryan Gouette ran fifth for Lakewood in 17:52.

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