Cross country teams headed to state

The Kingston and North Kitsap high school cross country teams will compete at the state championships Saturday in Pasco. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
The Kingston and North Kitsap high school cross country teams will compete at the state championships Saturday in Pasco.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Runners from Kingston and North Kitsap high schools are hoping to keep pace with the top athletes in the state this weekend.

The boys and girls cross country teams from both schools will compete Saturday at the 2A and 3A cross country state championships in Pasco.

“Going to state means a lot of hard work. And hard work means success at state,” Kingston Head Coach Roger Coffman said.

The Kingston High School girls and boys teams placed first among 2A schools at the Oct. 31 West Central District championships in Lakewood. Senior Ruby Roberts finished first overall in the division, followed by sister Marina Roberts and teammate Ramona Morshead. Rounding out the top 10 for the 2A girls was Kingston’s Melia Beckwith.

On the boys side, Kingston junior Nick Schippers took the top spot. He was joined by teammates Austin Cherry and Mitch Murdock, who placed third and eighth, respectively.

Coffman is confident in the abilities of the runners on both his boys and girls squads.

“I think that we have a group of individuals that, if they have a great race, they should win,” he said. “We’re not going to state to make it (to state), we’re going to state to excel. That was our goal, and that’s what we’re going to accomplish.”

In addition to the hard work, Coffman said the Kingston team is hoping to enjoy itself at the championships.

“The key to finishing strong is two things: run happy and run relaxed,” he said. “I think it ought to be a fun Saturday.”

In the 3A division, the North Kitsap girls placed first and the boys took fifth at the district meet. Seniors Tabor Reedy and Joel Brose finished second and seventh on the boys side. Teammate Katie Tertocha placed sixth in the girls division.

Head Coach Richard Christopher said a cold or flu bug has worked its way through nearly every runner on the team in the past several weeks, but he believes the sickness has passed. Christopher added that the team is focusing on staying healthy and looking forward to not only the race, but the entire experience surrounding the state championships.

“It’s not just the race, it’s the whole excitement. You’re kind of in rarified air up there,” he said. “We’re going into it thinking we’re going to run the best races we can against the top 15 teams in the state.”

North Kitsap is ranked 16th out of the 68 teams going to the state championships.

Christopher added that, regular season rivalries aside, he hopes North Kitsap, Kingston and Bainbridge high schools will represent their hometowns in a positive manner.

“I’m excited that the other teams from the North Kitsap area are going. We’re hoping that they fair really well,” Christopher said.

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