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Seton Catholic’s Alexis Leone repeats as state cross country champ

Washougal’s Grice, Boothby, Thomas all finish in top four

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:
4 Photos
Alexis Leone of Seton Catholic crosses the finish line to repeat as Class 1A girls champion at the WIAA State Cross Country Championship on Saturday Nov. 5, 2022 in Pasco.
Alexis Leone of Seton Catholic crosses the finish line to repeat as Class 1A girls champion at the WIAA State Cross Country Championship on Saturday Nov. 5, 2022 in Pasco. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

PASCO — On a windy day that left runners out of breath, Alexis Leone remained in rare air.

The Seton Catholic junior didn’t just win her second consecutive state cross country championship Saturday. Leone dominated, running way ahead of any other runner the entire Class 1A race.

When asked if it’s hard to run without a rival’s challenge, Leone said pushing herself is never a problem. In fact, that comes as naturally to her as breathing in the air that buffeted the state’s top runners at Sun Willows Golf Course.

“I always try,” Leone said. “I always have this thing because I want to run in college. It’s what keeps my mindset straight. Running is just like breathing, and the air is fresh.”

Leone covered the 5,000 meter course in 18 minutes, 22 seconds, winning by more than 36 seconds. While that was slower than her winning time of 18:05 last year, not many ran personal-bests in Saturday’s conditions with sustained wind of 15 to 25 miles per hour.

Unlike last year, when she was challenged by Meridian senior Kayla Aalpoel, Leone had a large lead when she passed the one-mile mark in an aggressively fast 5:38.

“Prior results show that the girls always go fast in that first mile,” Leone said. “The second and third mile are significantly slower.”

Leone entered Saturday’s meet as the prohibitive favorite. Her fastest time of 17:46, set in September at the Meriwether Cross Country Classic, was nearly 30 seconds faster than anyone else’s.

“I didn’t expect much (competition), but there’s always that one person who comes in and surprises you,” Leone said.

Despite rolling hills with no trees to break the wind, Leone wasn’t thrown off rhythm.

“It’s the first time we’ve had this kind of headwind this year,” Leone said. “It was cross country weather. That’s what makes you a better runner.”

Avery Garrison finished 17th as Seton Catholic’s second-fastest runner.

Washougal’s Grice second among 2A Boys

Washougal’s Samuel Grice believed if he ran well in Saturday’s Class 2A boys race, he’d finish at least third.

The junior did one better, grabbing second place in 15:56.

Grice couldn’t chase down Sehome’s Zack Munson, who won in 15:37 after striding to an early lead. But Grice pulled away in the final half-mile from third-place Jack Gladfelter, beating the Port Angeles runner by six seconds.

“I was thinking going into the race that I would get third because I’ve lost to both of those guys before,” Grice said. “I was hoping to be right up there with them. I got second, so I exceeded my expectations.”

Grice, who finished 11th at last year’s state meet, was in a pack behind the leaders at the first mile. From there he moved up, making a move toward the leaders as runners swung by spectators near the two-mile mark.

“I paced well,” Grice said. “Once I felt the pack I was in was slowing to below the pace I wanted to go, I made a move around the corner here and took off toward Jack and Zack.”

That put Grice in position for high finish, provided he could withstand fatigue and the windy conditions.

“I just had the mindset going in that it was going to hurt,” Grice said. “I was going to try and keep that out of my head and just focus on running.”

Panther pair top four in 2A girls

Washougal’s Sydnee Boothby and Elle Thomas have been pushing each other all season.

Saturday, the Panthers pair each posted their best state performance in the Class 2A girls race.

Fresh off a district title, Boothby placed third in 18:55. Thomas finished fourth in 19:15, holding off Katie Mingus of Foss by a half-second.

Each improved over last year, when Thomas finished sixth and Boothby ninth.

“Both of us, we compete with each other so well,” Boothby said of training with Thomas. “Friendly competition helps us all.”

Boothby, a senior, has been Washougal’s fastest runner much of the season. Thomas, a junior, has run her fastest times toward the season’s end.

“I’d say today was my best race,” Thomas said. “This entire season, it’s been an experience for sure. It’s something to learn from and improve on for my senior year. Hopefully I take advantage of that.”

Boothby started in a three-runner lead pack. But eventual winner Logan Hofstee (East Valley-Spokane) pulled away to win in 18:00. Jessica Frydenlund of Anacortes was second, 32 seconds ahead of Boothby.

“I was hoping to stick with them as much as possible,” Boothby said. “The conditions weren’t the greatest, but I gave it everything I had … Me and Elle have been training super well together. Plus it’s my senior year, so I wanted to do well and leave a mark.”

After placing third last year, Washougal finished fourth in the 2A girls team race.

Led by 20th place Hanna Bailey, Columbia River placed seventh.

Camas girls fifth in 4A race

Natalie Peddie finished 16th and Gracie Buzzell finished 21st as Camas placed fifth in the Class 4A girls race.

Union’s Charlotte Wilson finished 20th.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

WIAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco,

5,000 meters

CLASS 4A

Individual champion – Conner Wirth (Emerald Ridge) 15:37.

Team scores – 1, Issaquah 58; 2, Eastlake 101; 3, Wast Valley-Yakima 112; 4, Lewis and Clark 131. Also: 12, Camas 305.

BATTLE GROUND – 50, Todd Copper 17:01; 149, Devontae Kephart 22:08.

CAMAS – 54, Cohen Butler 17:06; 70, Luke Tupper 17:16; 83, Gabriel Marcham 17:26; 104, Hayden Reich 17:40; 106, Max Gregory 17:40; 115, James Puffer 17:52; 132, Andrew Helt 18:11.

SKYVIEW – 112, Ryan Koenninger 17:47.

UNION – 127, Sabin Kotsovos 18:03.

CLASS 3A

Individual champion – Cruize Corvin (Lakes) 15:30.

Team scores – 1, Seattle Prep 75; 2, Bishop Blanchet 81; 3, Mount Spokane 89; 4, Gig Harbor 145. Also: 20, Prairie 581.

HERITAGE – 150, Jayden Morlan 18:11; 159, Devyn Thomas 18:18.

PRAIRIE – 124, Logan Bigelow 17:50; 133, Ethan Pedersen 17:56; 180, Dekota Houfek 18:48; 186, Jacob Sautter 19:07; 189, Kenneth Pedersen 19:35; 193, Thomas Wise 20:21.

CLASS 2A

Individual champion – Zack Munson (Sehome) 15:37.

Team scores – 1, Bellingham 86; 2, Sehome 95; 3, Squalicum 102; 4, Selah 187. Also: 8, Columbia River 241; 9, Washougal 241; 15, Ridgefield 310.

COLUMBIA RIVER – 24, Jacob McManus 16:57; 32, Neftali Menendez 17:06; 72, Kohl Ripplinger 17:53; 104, Liam Morrisey 18:21; 106, Eli Wenger 18:23; 126, Preston Graham 18:54; 136, Alex Hernandez 19:10.

HUDSON’S BAY – 55, Adam Williams 17:35.

RIDGEFIELD – 64, Jack Radosevich 17:45; 69, Liam Rapp 17:50; 75, Davis Sullivan 17:59; 99, Evan Hollis 18:18; 138, Brandon Nguyen 19:17; 150, Mateo Garcia 19:57; 152, Gavin Gannon 20:03.

WASHOUGAL – 2, Samuel Grice 15:56; 73, Carson Holmes 17:55; 84, William Logan 18:07; 98, Nolan Johnson 18:18; 100, Brandon Lee 18:18; 103, Trey Keyser 18:20; 118, Liam Churchman 18:41.

WOODLAND – 45, Alejandro Alvarado 17:28; 127, August Heidgerken 18:55.

CLASS 1A

Individual champion – Reid Headrick (Medical Lake) 16:01.

Team scores – 1, Bush 95; 2, Northwest 100; 3, Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls 129; 4, Cedar Park Christian 134. Also: 8, Seton Catholic 205; 10, La Center 248.

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN – 145, Caden Delamerter 20:40.

LA CENTER – 24, Carter Sherry 17:40; 68, Sharp Young 18:26; 76, Logan Hubler 18:34; 92, Jacob Wasche 18:47; 106, Lance Cole 18:59; 123, Brady Sypher 19:16; 127, Aidan McDaid 19:21.

SETON CATHOLIC – 13, Sam Soto 17:22; 26, Oliver Dortmund 17:43; 71, Ben Ross 18:31; 74, Elijah Wall 18:34; 115, Brett Lamey 19:08; 124, Azriel Salcedo 19:17; 133, Easton Ross 19:36.

CLASS 1/2 B

Individual champion – Ciarna St. Hilaire (Tri-Cities Prep) 16:27.

Team scores – 1, Chewelah 83; 2, Pope John Paul II 121; 3, St. George’s 131; 4, Liberty Bell 137. Also: 11, Cedar Tree Classical Christian 299.

CEDAR TREE CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN – 35, Timothy Bradshaw 18:23; 57, Christopher Appleby 19:00; 107, Evan Sturdivant 19:56; 125, Asa Bradley 20:47; 137, Luke Sturdivant 21:21; 152, Sam Bilauca 22:54.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

WIAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco,

5,000 meters

CLASS 4A

Individual champion – Anna Callahan (Skyline) 18:03.

Team scores – 1, Tahoma 116; 2, Issaquah 116; 3, Lewis and Clark 131; 4, Eastlake 155. Also: 5, Camas 158.

BATTLE GROUND –

CAMAS – 16, Natalie Peddie 19:15; 21, Gracie Buzzell 19:34; 43, Elisa Marshall 20:05; 45, Bethany McKinstry 20:07; 87, Marilyn Green 21:04; 92, Alyson Robertson 21:06; 103, Elizabeth Nava 21:18.

SKYVIEW – 26, Daphne Evenson 19:40; 68, Evelyn Reed 20:42; 90, Lauren Amato 21:06; 134, Ava Logue 22:15.

UNION – 20, Charlotte Wilson 19:26; 33, Jaylyn Lehner 19:52; 112, Kayla Gorchels 21:28.

CLASS 3A

Individual champion – Reese Morkert 18:24.

Team scores – 1, Central Kitsap 70; 2, Gig Harbor 89; 3, Bishop Blanchet 121; 4, Stadium 191.

EVERGREEN – 72, Claire Rogge 20:44; 119, Daniela Vazquez-Gonzalez 21:34.

MOUNTAIN VIEW – 152, Phebe Willson 22:17.

PRAIRIE – 116, Annie Anderson 21:33.

CLASS 2A

Individual champion – Logan Hofstee (East Valley-Spokane) 18:00.

Team scores – 1, Sehome 54; 2, Anacortes 62; 3, Ellensburg 118; 4, Washougal 164. Also: 7, Columbia River 216; 10, Ridgefield 257; 11, Hockinson 259.

COLUMBIA RIVER – 20, Hanna Bailey 20:01; 42, Hanna Tran 20:47; 47, Mae Otoupal 20:57; 103, Ainsley Morrisey 22:30; 117, Savannah Reynolds 22:54; 118, Gabrielle Briggs 22:57; 143, Jacquelyn Gallegos 24:37.

FORT VANCOUVER – 45, Dani Buttrell 20:55; 54, Molly Malone 21:14.

HOCKINSON – 33, Lyla Taylor 20:36; 69, Lily Ritton 21:43; 70, Scarlett Sanders 21:44; 107, Julia Ritton 22:35; 115, Sofia Solari 22:52; 122, Taylor Souders 23:03; 134, Kaydie Boettcher 23:55.

HUDSON’S BAY – 102, Miranda Gonzalez 22:29; 111, Kaylynn Wickwire 22:43.

RIDGEFIELD – 31, Charlize Kellmer 20:31; 65, Cordelia Ashley 21:38; 68, Elizabeth Swift 21:42; 108, Ella Ross 22:37; 121, Nicolette Hulse 23:00; 139, Sarah Proctor 24:16; 142, Piper Gannon 24:32.

WASHOUGAL – 3, Sydnee Boothby 18:55; 4, Elle Thomas 19:14; 27, Gracie Perry 20:21; 95, Lauren Filipczak 22:18; 123, Emily Swigert 23:06; 131, Audrey Grice 23:25; Danica Stinchfield 23:44.

WOODLAND – Couly McReynolds 22:53.

CLASS 1A

Individual champion – Alexis Leone (Seton Catholic) 18:22.

Team scores – 1, Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls 94; 2, Overlake 101; 3, Medical Lake 122; 4, Naches Valley 141. Also: 11, Seton Catholic 270.

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN – 116, Autumn Gaudet 24:07.

LA CENTER – 133, Isabella Higgins 24:53.

SETON CATHOLIC – 1, Alexis Leone 18:22; 17, Avery Garrison 20:24; 110, Kingsley Williams 23:53; 140, Remy Jenniges 25:20;149, Addison Miller 26:58.

STEVENSON – 118, Ruby Langer 24:15; 145, Alaska Jones 25:52.

CLASS 1/2 B

Individual champion – Josie McLaughlin (St. George’s) 19:40.

Team scores – 1, Pope John Paul II 47; Garfield-Palouse 48; 3, St. George’s 60; 4, Liberty Bell 100.

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