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Vashon runners go up against league competitors
The Vashon girls and boys cross country teams placed fifth and sixth at the Nisqually League championship meet last Thursday.
Eight league teams competed at the event at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. Cedar Park Christian ran away with the girls team title and a Nisqually Leage trophy by placing four of its athletes in the top 10. Charles Wright captured the league championship for the boys.
In the girls race, junior Maddi Groen finished 13th, covering the 3.1-mile course in 21:58, a personal best for this year. Freshman Natalie VanDevanter kept a strong pace to finish 19th overall with a time of 23:05.
Senior Landon Summers was the fastest Vashon boy and finished 21st overall in 18:48.
After the races, the league held an unusual event for the athletes — a pie eating contest between all the teams. Groen and Summers represented Vashon.
Some runners chose to scarf their pies down, while Groen and Summers displayed their excellent table manners. Bellevue Christian edged out the Pirates to claim the victory.
Overall, the Pirate cross country team has a enjoyed a big turnout this season. They are a young team with many underclassmen, and the runners are showing improvement that will carry into the seasons to come.
Up next for the Pirates is the Tri-District meet, which will be held in Lakewood on Saturday. There will be 18 teams at the meet, and the top six girls teams and top 30 girls will qualify for the state cross country meet in Pasco. For the boys meet, the top five teams and top 25 individual boys will qualify for State.
Last year Groen was the lone Pirate to qualify for State at this event.
— Kevin Ross is a cross country coach at Vashon High School.