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Kingston cross country trains hard, has the times to beat
KINGSTON — It’s a difficult cross country course at Kingston High School.
There are ditches to go over, bridges to cross and stairs and hills to run up.
“As far as cross country courses go it’s a tough one,” said Buccaneer’s head cross country coach Roger Coffman.
For one Buc distance runner the course didn’t prove to be much trouble, time-wise at least, on Wednesday as the Bucs hosted Klahowya and North Mason. Justin Doud ran the three-mile, double-looped course in 16:34, demolishing the previous course record time by 10 seconds.
The course concludes with a lap around the track, and Doud finished the race nearly a lap ahead of the pack.
He did it by running smart and picking the right pace.
“You just pick a good pace, the hardest pace you can, and try and hold it for the entire race,” said a not-very-winded Doud a few minutes after the race. “Go reserved on the hill and go hard at the top and you’ll get past them. There’s a hill at Kingston Middle and about 900 meters of flat after, which is where you move.”
Doud holds the second fastest 2A state time for a three-mile race at 15:43.99, which he ran at Port Townsend on Sept. 24.
Arriving second across the finish line was Buc Nick Schippers, who sure had to put on the speed to do so.
Heading into the track portion of the race Schippers led a pack of three by a few strides. On the back stretch Andrew Cain of North Mason pulled ahead with about 75 meters left to go.
“I knew that was to be expected because he has a good kick,” Shippers said.
But Shippers was in control. He had a plan, and waited till the last 50 meters to execute it.
“I was waiting to hit my last gear, and I hit it, reeled him in the rest of the way and passed him,” Schippers said. “Austin (Cherry) sped up and pushed me and I don’t think I could have done it without him. It was really close and really fun.”
Schippers finished the race in 17:18, just barely a half stride ahead of third place.
As a sophomore Schippers holds the seventh fastest 2A three-mile time at 16:38.02, which he also ran on Sept. 24 at Port Townsend.
The Bucs boys varsity team won the event with 29 points, Klahowya finished second with 40 points and North Mason third with 62 points.
The girls varsity team also won the race with 15 points, Klahowya finished second with 42 points and North Mason third with no score.
Kingston’s girls swept the top five finishes, with Rose Bishop, Marina Roberts and Ruby Roberts crossing the line in a pack, as the football team swarmed near the line to cheer them across.
“They’re working on improving as a team and running together as a group,” Coffman said of the pack-like finish. “They’ll score higher at league, districts and state by working together as a group. Cross country is like wrestling. In wrestling you need a good practice partner and you need a good running partner to help push and support you on days you’re not at the top of your game.”
Bishop and Marina Roberts crossed the line with the same time, 20:02, however they placed first and second, respectively. Ruby Roberts came in third a tenth of a second later, 20:03.
Ruby Roberts leads the 2A state three-mile pack with her time of 18:11.40, which she ran Sept. 20 at the Salt Creek Invite. Marina Roberts, a freshman, holds the state’s second fastest 2A three-mile time, 18:26.24, which she also ran at the Salt Creek Invite. Bishop is fourth at the 2A three-mile level with her time of 18:50.69, which she ran Sept. 24 at Port Townsend.
“I’m really proud of all these kids,” Coffman said. “They show a lot of dedication and they strive for improvement each and every day.”
Today the Bucs travel to the Fort Warden Invite at Port Townsend and on Wednesday host their final home race of the season against Olympic and Bremerton. Races start around 4 p.m.