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2B/1B cross country: NWC boys win behind Ammon, St. George’s Ward takes second

PASCO – More than once this season, Northwest Christian freshman Jack Ammon wondered why he had given up soccer for cross country.

“This sport is so painful,” the articulate Ammon said. “Something’s got to be off. You can’t be normal and want to run.”

Ammon led the Crusaders to the State 2B/1B championship Saturday under mild conditions at breezy Sun Willows Golf Course. He finished fourth in a time of 16 minutes, 35.86 seconds as NWC posted 68 points. Asotin placed second with 101 points.

Senior Hunter Olsen of St. George’s took third (16:34.34). Asotin junior Chandler Teigen, second a year ago, won in 15:52.99.

NWC juniors Alex Wallat (17:00.67) and Timothy Kopplin (17:00.91) were 10th and 11th, respectively, as the Crusaders pushed three across before defending champion Tri-Cities Prep got one.

The Crusaders edged Tri-Cities Prep by four points at district.

“It went as I wanted,” Ammon said. “I love going out hard and fast. (The title) means a lot for my school and me personally. I was skeptical about cross country going into the season. I had played soccer for 10 years. I thought about going back during the year.”

He’s glad he didn’t listen to himself.

Now Ammon has his sights set on the biggest individual prize.

“If it’s not my sophomore year, my junior year or my senior year, I will get a state title,” Ammon said. “I feel very blessed. This is where He (God) wants me.”

Olsen was perfectly content with third.

“I gave it my best and I’m proud of what I did,” Olsen said.

Republic junior Duncan Forsman was eighth (16:54.20) and sophomore teammate Spencer Reiss was 12th (17:02.83).

In the girls race, St. George’s freshman Madison Ward took second (19:01.42).

Northwest Christian of Lacey won the team title with 45 points. St. John-Endicott (95) took third.

St. John-Endicott’s Jordan Porubek (19:58.64), Shania Bailey (20:29.39) and Heather Siegel (20:44.31) finished ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively.

Harley Strope of Reardan (19:48.58) was fifth and Shania Graham (19:57.25) of Republic placed eighth.