Cross-country runs at Steilacoom

Pirate runners ran hard and fast at two away meets last week, and the athletes finished strong in both events — one of which had athletes from 60 schools.

The cross-country team enjoyed a warm and sunny race on Sept. 17 at Fort Steilacoom, with Charles Wright Academy as the host school.

Out of six teams, the boys and girls teams both placed third overall.

On the guys’ side, Vashon’s number-one runner Tylor Heit finished fifth overall in 17 minutes, 35 seconds. He put a lot of pressure on the top four guys, his coach Kevin Ross said.

Colin Andrus finished ninth overall and was the Pirates’ number-two runner, finishing in 18 minutes, 34 seconds.

“He is starting to break into the elite pack of runners in our league,” Ross said.

The girls team ran strong, coming in just behind the 2A Fife and a very powerful Charles Wright team, said coach Laura Johnson.

“As we have four meets this year on the same Steilacoom course, we are looking forward to bettering our times and placement as the season goes by,” she said.

Savannah Krug was once again the team’s number-one runner, coming across the finish line fifth with a personal course record time of 22 minutes, 17 seconds. Right on her heels were teammates Leigh Sheridan and Kate Straube, with Peri Roberts within striking distance. The team was complete with Dia VanHolde, a senior this year but new to the team.

Saturday, Sept. 19, saw the Pirates travel to compete in the annual Fort Steilacoom Invitational, one of the biggest invites in the state. More than 60 teams from all classifications were represented along with hundreds of athletes.

“What makes this invite unique is that the boys’ varsity is split up into two races,” said Ross. “When you throw in the two girls’ varsity races, all flights are then started 10 minutes apart, meaning that as a coach or spectator you are involved in non-stop action during four different races.”

The Vashon boys placed 31st overall as a team. The girls team had only three runners and needed five to be ranked as a complete team.

Straube, the Pirates’ first placing girl, ran a personal best of 23 minutes, nine seconds, in a race that included more than 200 girls. Close behind her, Krug crossed the line in 23 minutes, 13 seconds, followed by VanHolde, the third and final Pirate runner.

In the boys’ race, Shane Moskowitz from Central Kitsap was the overall winner, covering the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, four seconds. Vashon’s Heit crossed the finish line first for the Pirates, in a time of 17 minutes, 55 seconds, followed by Andrus, Aidan Cyra, Cole Grabow, Ramsey Walker, Max Johnson and Kenese Parker.

The Pirates’ next meet is on Thursday, Sept. 24, once again at Fort Steilacoom.

The team is looking forward to returning to that same course on Thursday, Johnson said.

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