Kamiak junior Clark peaking at right time | Cross country

Clark places second at 4A district meet
By David Pan | Nov 01, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak junior Leah Clark, seen here during a regular season meet, finished second at the 4A Northwest District championships Saturday, Oct. 28, at South Whidbey High School. Clark runs at state on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Sun Willows Golf Course.

Kamiak’s Leah Clark surged to near the top of the field at the Northwest District Girls Cross Country Championships.

Clark finished in second place behind defending 4A champion Taylor Roe of Lake Stevens in the 5k race Saturday, Oct. 28, at South Whidbey High School in Langley.

Roe clocked in with a time of 18 minutes, 31.20 seconds, and Clark followed in 19:02.10.

The Kamiak junior placed 12th at last year’s district meet. Clark stuck with the front pack until the third mile.

“I just decided to make a move and hope for the best,” Clark said. “I just wanted to qualify for state and get a good place.”

Glacier Peak’s Alexis Palmer finished third and Kamiak’s Alicia Anderson placed fourth. Jackson’s Anna Skoog took fifth, Glacier Peak’s Brooke Wallace was 10th and Jackson’s Allyson Kim was 11th. Glacier Peak’s Elena Willems took 14th.

Lake Stevens won the team title with 61 points and Jackson and Glacier Peak tied for second with 73 points but the Wolfpack won the tiebreaker and the second berth to state. The top two teams and 14 runners qualified for the 4A championships.

This is Clark’s third trip to the state championships and her goal is to improve upon last year’s 39th place finish.

“I spent a lot of the summer getting a lot of miles in,” Clark said. “Now we’re focusing on speed rather than stamina.”

Kamiak coach Charley LeWarne said that Clark ran well on Saturday.

“She’s been coming on strong in the second half of the season and showing maturity that has helped elevate her racing,” LeWarne said. “She was our top finisher at state last year, so we have known how good she could be, but the past few weeks have allowed her to perform consistently at the top.  Saturday showed her at her best – working in a pack of four girls through two miles and then being intensely competitive and focused to finish out the final mile.”

Glacier Peak’s Riley McDowell won the boys race and helped the Grizzlies take the team title with 23 points. Jackson placed second with 52.

McDowell finished in 16:06.16, ahead of Jackson’s Mateo Rivera and teammates Nicholas Mullineux-Perrault, and Elijah Lopez. Jackson’s Joseph Skoog placed fifth. Glacier Peak’s Tyler Tanta Nathan Tastad and Tim Mandzuyuk were seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively. Jackson’s Lucas Robert was 11th.

The state cross country championships are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4, at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

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