PASCO – Riverside’s girls cross country team staked its tent behind the starting line during the state cross country meet.
But it wasn’t where they camped, it was how they finished.
The Rams turned the tables on rival Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls), winning 70-78 to capture the State 1A team championship.
It was the fifth time the Northeast A League rivals had squared off. The Eagles won three, but they were close, and the fourth race won by the Rams at regional was a virtual dead heat. Lakeside coach Steve Olson knew this one wouldn’t be easy.
“We knew Riverside would be tough,” he said. “They had two freshman dynamos.”
Lakeside had the top two finishers in the team race. Lindy Jacobson and Sofia Marikis placed fourth and sixth, respectively, but Riverside won with depth.
The difference was the Nos. 4 and 5 Riverside finishers, resulting in a 19-point swing that determined the outcome.
“We have a lot of rookies,” Rams coach Tim Hart said. “(Seniors) Delaney McMahon put in 60-mile weeks over the summer and Jessica Chrisp was running two-a-days all summer as well.”
Junior Rebecca Mildes came back from hip surgery and there were the two freshmen. One, Mikayla Shuler, led the way in ninth place.
“It’s amazing, just how much work they did,” Hart said. “They had to give everything they had.”
It was a bittersweet day for Olson. Not only did the girls finish second, but the boys did also, losing by three points to Charles Wright Academy. Ryan Coffman was sixth overall.
“Boy, I thought we’d won it,” Olson said. “I didn’t see their fourth and fifth finishers. It’s kind of sad. I had to break the news to them.”
As disappointing as the finish was, most coaches would love to have two second-place finishing teams. Medical Lake’s boys took third.
2A boys, girls
Sanne Holland moved one place closer, but was again denied the girls individual championship. The Cheney senior, who had placed fourth and third twice, finished second in her final try, with her 18:30.1 time 12 1/2 seconds behind the winner.
East Valley freshman Brittany Aquino placed third and West Valley sophomore McCall Skay was sixth.
Confusion occurred in the boys race, where Deer Park and Selah wore identical fluorescent yellow jerseys. While it appeared the Stags were doing fine, coach Scott Daratha knew better, saying his team ran flat.
When everything was ironed out, they finished fourth, well back of the field. Cheney was fifth. Deer Park’s Daniel Amann, in eighth, was the top boys finisher.
B boys, girls
Northwest Christian boys finished second in the team race, with Alex Wallat sixth overall. St. John-Endicott girls were also second.
NWC’s Anna Henry placed second in her final cross country race.