Columbia High’s boys cross country team was the runaway winner last Wednesday of a seven-team 1A Trico League home meet on the CHS campus.
CHS boys claimed half of the top-10 places as four of the team’s five scorers logged personal-record times. The Bruins finished with a score of 28. Runner-up La Center scored 87.
Junior Dylan Beneventi placed second in a PR time of 16 minutes, 58.70 seconds. Seton Prep’s David Carrion won the 5-kilometer race in 16:49.04.
Sophomore Jacob Lockman (17:15.20) was the second CHS runner and third overall to cross the finish line.
Senior Gerald Hoff (5th, PR of 18:03.95) and freshmen Tommy Ziegler (8th, PR of 18:17.87) and LeBron Munoz (10th, PR of 18:34.04) rounded out the CHS scoring unit.
“The boy's team performance was strong, but our main competition this year will be at the Warner Pacific meet on Oct. 13 and at state,” Bruins Coach Michael Hannigan noted. “So, until that time we are focusing on training.”
In terms of individual performances, Hannigan was impressed with the development of Julian Munn-Foster, a freshman who ran a PR “and is showing some real talent.”
All told, 16 Columbia High boys posted PRs during the Bruins’ only home meet of the 2018 season.
So did CHS’s top girl finisher, junior Danica Warren. She placed fifth, in a PR time of 20:53.89, to help the CHS girls to a second-place finish out of four complete teams.
“It was nice to see Danica run a big PR and step it up against some excellent competition,” Hannigan said.
La Center, led by first-place finisher Natasha Lewis (19:50.87), beat CHS for top team honors, 33 to 48. Seton Prep was third (50) and Trout Lake was fourth (91).
Junior Joules Hope was sixth overall (20:54.93) as the Bruins placed four runners in the top 10. La Center had four runners in the top 8.
Junior Lillian Nelson (9th, 21:45.24), senior Ivy McDonald (10th, season-best time of 21:47.76), and junior Hannah Leon (19th, PR of 23:10.96) completed the CHS scoring unit.
“The girl's team performance was strong as well, but they are going up against in our league two other top-ten teams at the state level, La Center and Seton,” Hannigan said. “This means that they will have to fight their way to state against some tough competition.”
The Trout Lake boys placed fourth in the team competition with a score of 112. Their top finisher, sophomore Gabe Harpe, came in ninth in 18:27.74.
Sophomores Evan Tattersall (PR of 19:39.59), Shane Pearson, and Liam McLaughlin (PR of 20:07.15), and senior Luke Court also scored for the Mustangs.
Makenna Stock’s 12th-place finish paced the Trout Lake girls team. Joanna Peck was 14th, Laurel Peck was 17th, and Emily Lopez was 30th.
In other news: The CHS girls made their debut in the Week 5 Washington State Cross Country Coaches Poll announced on Monday.
Columbia entered at No. 8. La Center ranked No. 3. They were the only south-west Washington schools listed in the 1A polls, girls or boys.
Trout Lake’s boys came in at No. 8 and its girl's team at No. 5 in the 1B/2B.
Coming up: The Bruins are off until Oct. 10, when they travel to North Bonneville's Strawberry Island course for a 1A Trico meet hosted by Stevenson.