South Kitsap senior Zach Grams pumps to the finish line ahead of the pack in a dual meet against Curtis on Sept. 20. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap senior Zach Grams pumps to the finish line ahead of the pack in a dual meet against Curtis on Sept. 20. (Mark Krulish | Kitsap Daily News)

Second-ranked South Kitsap XC proving themselves early this season

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.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start of football season to Sept. 5

The WIAA Executive Board voted this month to delay the start of… Continue reading

Seattle to Portland bike ride goes virtual

Although the Northwest cycling season was effectively stopped short after February’s Chilly… Continue reading

Putting in the miles: routes to help you complete your virtual summer races

Normally at this time of year, racing season for professionals, amateurs and… Continue reading

WIAA approves seeding committees for all team sports beginning in the fall

The WIAA began an experiment two years ago when it approved the… Continue reading

Bremerton junior Te’Caela Wilcher is one of two remaining members of the two-time defending 2A 4x100 relay champions. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Krulish: What the spring sports season might have brought us

It’s early May, and the high school sports scene in Kitsap is… Continue reading

Kingston Rotary postpones June golf tournament

The Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club has postponed its annual Swing for… Continue reading

North Olympic Discovery Marathon cancels June 7 race, goes virtual

The Olympic Peninsula race sees plenty of participation from runners in Kitsap County

The spring sports season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak

The announcement yesterday from Gov. Jay Inslee that traditional, on-site education would… Continue reading

WIAA: spring sports could be held if schools return by May 4

Although the prospect of a spring sports season looks bleak, the WIAA… Continue reading

Seattle sports teams and major event organizers issue public plea: Stay home

When the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders FC and Storm speak, will fans heed… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Kobe McMillian was one of three Vikings name to the AP’s 2A All-State team. McMillian and Jonas La Tour were first-team selections and Shaa Humphrey was an Honorable Mention. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Three Vikings named to Associated Press All-State teams

Sportswriters and editors from the Associated Press have selected three Vikings for… Continue reading

Like all others around Kitsap, North Kitsap High School’s baseball field has no activity in its future. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Local athletic fields left empty as schools shutter for weeks

At a time when Kitsap County athletic fields should be beehives of… Continue reading