Columbia High boys are once again the champions of Southwest Washington 1A cross country.
Led by Tommy Ziegler’s fifth-place finish, the Bruins placed all five of their scoring runners in the top 18 at last Thursday’s district championships. All seven of their runners finished in the top 30 in a field of 69 (including 10 complete teams of five runners).
The Bruins repeated as district champions with a score of 48. La Center, which edged CHS 31 to 41 at the Oct. 23 league meet in Vancouver, was second with 54. Seton Prep of Vancouver made it a Trico sweep of the top three spots.
All three teams are advancing to this Saturday’s State 1A meet in Pasco. Their race begins at noon.
The difference last Friday, according to Bruins Coach Michael Hannigan, was having a rested lineup intact for the season’s final 5,000-meter circuits.
“I felt like Tommy had a very solid performance, but our strength as a team is the whole team,” Bruins Coach Michael Hannigan said. “They have really come together and performed well as a group all year long.”
Ziegler had fresh legs for the 5,000-meter district championship run at Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland. He sat out the Trico League meet on Oct. 23 due to a cold.
Ziegler navigated the course in a personal-record time of 17 minutes, 28 seconds.
Junior Jacob Lockman crossed the finish line 8 seconds later. Senior Luke Samuels claimed eighth place in a PR time of 17:47.
Senior Dylan Beneventi also missed the league meet due to tendinitis in an ankle. He returned to place 12th at district; his time was 17:54.
Senior Finn Coffin closed out the scoring for CHS with an 18th-place finish in 18:14.
Sophomore LeBron Munoz and freshman Camden Uffelman placed 24th and 29th respectively.
“We look healthy going into State and hope for a top-10 finish and, if things go well, we hope to place in the top eight,” Hannigan said.