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CV head coach Kieran Mahoney splashes assistant Dave Durand and assistants Ernie Aguilar, far left, and Bryce Aguilar join in a dip in a pond to celebrate title. (Tyler Tjomsland)

Central Valley, NC boys win state titles

PASCO – The waiting was interminable for Central Valley boys cross country coach Kieran Mahoney, who paced in and out of the results room awaiting the outcome of the final race of the state cross country meet at Sun Willow Golf Course.

Mahoney knew the Bears had run a good race. He wanted to know for sure how well they placed in the 4A standings.

When the results arrived, Mahoney shot out of the confined area to spread the news: The Bears had won the school’s first boys state overland title.

CV’s easy victory completed a doubleheader sweep for the Greater Spokane League. In the preceding race, North Central – sans No. 1 runner injured Kai Wilmot – breezed to its seventh straight 3A title, its seven runners among the race’s top 19.

4A boys and girls

“Briton Demars,” Mahoney said. “Briton Demars stepped up. I kept telling him he’d run his best race at state and he stepped up beautifully.”

Demars, a sophomore, was CV’s No. 4 finisher, helping propel the Bears to a surprisingly easy 89 to 130 victory over Eisenhower, with Lewis and Clark winning a trophy at fourth.

To a man, CV’s five scorers placed ahead of each of the Cadets.

Third-place Gig Harbor had the first and fifth team placers, but were only four runners deep.

Besides Demars, Mahoney lauded the efforts of Logan Giese who was 11th overall, timing 15 minutes, 43.9 seconds, Spencer Jensen and Corey Hunter, who were right behind and fifth runner Colton Pegram, who secured the triumph. Thirty-nine seconds separated them.

“They raced beautifully today,” Mahoney said. “Just steady production, step-by-step.”

The Bears hauled out their special jerseys with a conspicuously huge “V” on the front, making it easy to know where they stood. And they ended up standing atop the podium for all the crowd to see.

LC’s Tigers were led by Sumner Goodwin’s fourth-place 15:29.9 time. Ferris senior Travis Thorne placed ninth.

Greater Spokane League girls were never a factor. Gonzaga Prep, in its first state appearance, was 11th and the league’s best finisher, LC’s Gracie Ledwith, took 37th.

3A-4A boys and girls

If people were worried about the injury to Wilmot, illness – Nik Taylor ran but was a race-time decision – and dings to a few more, it didn’t seem to bother the Indians runners.

Tanner Anderson assumed the lead role, charging to third place behind pre-race favorite Joe Hardy of Seattle Prep and Mt. Spokane sophomore John Dressel.

There was a lull midrace, but typical of Indians teams, they closed with a rush.

“We kind of had to race for Kai,” said Anderson, a sophomore. “Everything isn’t easy, but in a sense, I feel it went well.”

That might have been a tad understated. The seven timed between 15:34.8 and 16:01.9, scoring 38 points to Kamiakin’s 75.

“We’re just really deep this year,” coach Jon Knight said. “Sometimes with running, you think it’s an individual sport, but it is a team sport. I’m very, very pleased.”

Dressel said that “for sure he was going to be a top-three finisher. Then, “I started thinking, ‘hey,’ maybe I could be a state champion.”

He split the difference. Shadle Park junior Nicholas Hauger finished fourth.

Mt. Spokane girls finished sixth with freshman Makenna Endebrock placing ninth.