PORT ORCHARD — It’s not just the boys and girls that comprise the South Kitsap cross country teams that have high expectations for themselves.
The girls’ team was ranked second in 4A by the preseason Washington State Cross Country Coaches Poll, coming off a sixth-place finish at last year’s state meet. And they may have gotten even faster than last year if early performances are any indication.
Freshman runner Ashley Sciochetti took home top honors with a time of 18:51 at the Wolves’ home meet against Curtis on Thursday, Sept. 20. Sciocchetti outpaced Maggie Bauer of Curtis, who finished 10th overall at last year’s 4A state meet, by 15 seconds.
It’s still early, and runners will certainly be racking up faster times as the season wears on, but Sciocchetti’s 18:51 is currently the 13th-fastest time this year in Washington state and sixth-best in the 4A classification.
Seniors Paxton DePoe and Kristina Ihlen finished fourth and fifth with times of 19:19 and 19:20. Eugenia Palko (sixth, 20:38) and Kaija Ogan (ninth, 21:16) also finished in the top 10.
The boys’ team may not be ranked, but after getting back to state for the first time since 2004 last season, they are poised to make another trip to Pasco.
Zach Grams topped all runners with a time of 16:05, well ahead of teammate Jacob Laws, who finished second (16:14). Kevin McDermott (16:31) was able to kick into high gear in the last few hundred meters and edge out Mason Watamura and Ewan Steers of Curtis to pick up an important fourth-place finish that helped seal the team victory.
Team scores (boys):
South Kitsap, 24; Curtis, 31.
Scoring runners — Zach Grams, first, 16:05; Jacob Laws, second, 16:14; Kevin McDermott, fourth, 16:31; Jacob Simon, seventh, 16:41; Shawn Clough, 10th, 17:10.
Team scores (girls):
South Kitsap, 25; Curtis, 30.
Scoring runners — Ashley Sciocchetti, first, 18:51; Paxton DePoe, fourth, 19:19; Kristina Ihlen, fifth, 19:20; Eugenia Palko, sixth, 20:38; Kaija Ogan, ninth, 21:16.