WOODLAND — Kyle Radosevich isn’t a year-round runner, but the sprint and acceleration he has as Ridgefield’s all-Greater St. Helens League midfielder in soccer also was visible surging to the finish line of Saturday’s 2A District IV boys cross country championship race.
It helps to have as good a kick as the Spudders’ junior, who held off Tumwater’s Joseph Morrissey and Washougal’s Gabriel Dinnel not only in the home stretch but also in the final steps to win in 15 minutes, 54 seconds as one of three runners to run sub-16 minutes at Lewis River Golf Course.
Radosevich had many reasons to be happy Saturday. For starters, it was his first district title to help the Spudders capture the team title with 49 points. It also was his first sub-16-minute time of his career heading into next weekend’s state meet in Pasco.
“And it’s a hard course,” he said, “which makes it even better. Lots of turns. Windy turns.
“I like faster courses … but I like today.”
Radosevich, Morrissey and Dinnel had quite a few turns to navigate as the trio stayed together as the leaders from the start. But once Morrissey began to break away inside 400 meters to go, that’s when Radosevich kicked into a higher gear. He edged Dinnel (15:56), finishing second and Morrissey (15:57), who was third. Radosevich and Dinnel also went 1-2 at last week’s 2A GSHL championships in Longview.
“I knew I had to go with (Morrissey) if I wanted to stay with him,” he said.
Radosevich’s time was one of four course records set on the 3.1-mile course. All four race 2A and 1A boys and girls winners set course-record times, including 2A girls winner Amelia Pullen of Washougal (18:30), a redemption-filled day from her 2016 race.
This district race was a different story for the Panthers’ junior than a season ago. There, she got off course six times and placed fifth. Saturday, she won by a hefty margin — 1 minute, 13 seconds — over runner-up Allyson Peterson of Hockinson (19:43). Woodland’s McKenna Flanagan’s personal-best time of 20:00 placed her third.
“That was not the best memory I made,” Pullen said, recalling last year’s race. “I got to replace it with good memories.”
She even admitted to getting off-course a few times on the heavily-marked course this go-around, too, but was re-directed from bystanders. That’s what happens when you’re as focus and in the zone as Pullen is on race days, and like so Saturday.
“My plan was go to out, run hard, have fun and not get lost,” she said.
Seton Catholic freshman Sydnee Dyer (18:55) won the 1A girls title. La Center won the team title, highlighted by Natasha Lewis and Roselynn Martin’s top-three finishes. Calvin DuBois (16:37) won the 1A boys title.