Pair of NK cross-country runners to lace ‘em up for state

Robson finishes 4th among boys; Embrey 33rd in 4A girls’ race.

im Robson was the top boys’ finisher from Kitsap County in last weekend’s West Central District III cross-country meet, where he finished in 4th place.

And the frightening news for opponents is this: the course didn’t favor him.

“This isn’t his ideal course,” said cross-country head coach Helen Smith. “But he had a good race, and did what he needed to do.”

Smith said that Robson was hampered by the flat course; he’s more used to running on the more hilly terrain found in Kitsap County.

Robson finished behind John Timeus of Kent-Meridian, John Moore of Olympia, and Carl Moe of Auburn-Riverside, who finished a jaw-droppingly-wide 31 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

Robson helped the Viking boys to a 14th-place team finish. By finishing in the top 35 individuals, he will make a repeat trip to the state meet in Pasco. And he won’t be the only Viking running there.

Robyn Embrey finished 34th, ensuring a run in the state championship.

“I really wanted to go to state,” Embrey said. “It’s something I’ve never done before.”

As a team, the North Kitsap girls finished 11th, helped by strong finishes by Embrey and Greta Stickney, who clocked in at 41st overall.

Meanwhile, the South Kitsap Wolves weren’t the head of the pack at Saturday’s district meet, but they were close enough to raise whoops when their place was announced.

The Wolves finished second among boys’ teams and third among girls — the best finish among Kitsap-county teams.

By placing among the top seven in combined team scores, both teams will be headed to the state championship in Pasco next weekend.

That’s where they hope to strike, said Kayle Peterson, whose third-place finish among the girls helped to anchor South Kitsap’s effort.

“We did pretty well, but we were hoping for second,” Peterson said. “Thomas Jefferson beat us.”

She added, “We’ll get them at state.”

Peterson said the flat, 3.1 mile course that looped around Lake Spanaway Golf Course and Country Club wasn’t her kind of course; instead she prefers a more hilly routine, like the kind found in Kitsap.

But the flat, green course didn’t hurt the Wolves too bad, she admitted.

“Everyone PRd (set a personal record),” she said, “so that’s good.”

The Wolves’ girls were aided by Eileen Morley, who finished 15th overall, and Danielle Friend, who finished 21st.

The boys were led by C.J. Godfrey, who finished ninth overall. Josh Cobb and Drew Polley finished back-to-back in 17th and 18th place, good enough to help the Wolves to a second-place finish behind Kent-Meridian.

A strong effort on the girls’ side was made by the Central Kitsap Cougars. Junior Kim Reiland finished 4th, only three seconds behind South Kitsap’s Peterson, and the Cougars Jannel Emery finished 33rd overall, so the pair will be going to state.

The girls’ team finished 12th overall for the Cougars, while the boys team did not field enough runners for a team finish. (The only boys’ finish was made by Alex Eddington, who finished 88th overall.)

As for the Olympic Trojans, head coach Greg Chapman was more than pleased with both the boys and girls; every runner, he said, collected a personal best at just the right time.

“They ran over their heads. Everyone ran terrific. Everything peaked at just the right time,” Chapman said.

Olympic’s boys were led by Dan Frederick, whose 12th-place finish among boys punched his ticket to Pasco. Brandon Griffin was the next highest finisher (52nd overall), but Chapman said the team ran its best group race of the year, even Keith Goodsell, who stepped in for Aaron Duane, who was too sick to run; Goodsell finished an impressive 4th among the Trojans. The boys finished 18th overall.

The girls were led by Katie Porter, who finished 22nd. Along with Frederick, she will head east of the mountains next weekend.

“They’ve been training hard,” said Chapman. “We’ve been aiming for league … and here.”

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