Port Angeles senior cross country runner Kathryn Guttormsen competes at Klahowya on Saturday. It was the first prep sports competition since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all prep sports last March. (Photos by Rodger Johnson)

Port Angeles senior cross country runner Kathryn Guttormsen competes at Klahowya on Saturday. It was the first prep sports competition since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all prep sports last March. (Photos by Rodger Johnson)

PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Roughriders’ harriers get back on course

SILVERDALE — Port Angeles cross country runners put in some fast times at their first meet in over a year, but they fell short as a team against powerful boys’ and girls’ teams from Klahowya.

The Roughriders competed against Klahowya in a 2-mile jamboree Saturday afternoon. Sequim competed against Olympic, and East Jefferson competed against Kingston earlier in the day.

The Klahowya boys just nipped the Port Angeles boys 27-29 (like golf, lower scores are better in cross country). The Eagles girls beat the Rider girls 21-34.

“Athletes are adjusting well to the constraints of the season. Running with a mask on is definitely uncomfortable, but most athletes are already getting used to it,” said coach Rodger Johnson.

“Running with a mask, staying 6 feet apart, and the other rules have been annoying, but it was all worth it for today,” said senior Kathryn Guttormsen.

Port Angeles freshman Reid Schmidt leads a pack of Roughrider boys on the Klahowya cross country course Saturday. (Photo by Rodger Johnson)

Port Angeles freshman Reid Schmidt leads a pack of Roughrider boys on the Klahowya cross country course Saturday. (Photo by Rodger Johnson)

Port Angeles’ Lauren Larson had a good duel with Klahowya’s Alyssa Becker. Becker was fourth at the state 1A championships in 2019 (Klahowya has since moved up to 2A), while Larson was fifth at the state 2A championships.

Becker ran an explosive time of 11 minutes, 46.3 seconds to win the girls’ race. Larson was right behind at 11:57.7, nearly two full minutes ahead of the third-place time. Meanwhile, running on the same course earlier in the day against Olympic, Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, who was sixth in 2019 at 2A state, ran a 12:30.2. By a wide margin, those were the top three girls’ times for the day on the course.

Meanwhile, Guttormsen finished sixth for the Riders (15:18.1), while Jenna Goff was seventh (15:54.6), Emma Weaver was ninth (16:52.1) and Gracie Townsend 10th (18:23.6).

For the boys, the Riders had a huge contingent of runners. They were led by Jack Gladfelter with a time of 10:59.4, good for third. Joshua Gavin was fourth (11:22.0), Langdon Larson fifth (11:38.1); Maxwell Baeder eighth (11:52.1), Adam Borde ninth (12:20.9) and Lucas Gavin 10th (12:26.8) as the Riders got six out of the top 10 times.

However, with the Eagles getting the top two times on the day, they were just able to nip the Riders in team points.

Rounding out the field for the Port Angeles boys were Kowan Kasten, 12th, 12:47.4; Brian Guttormsen, 17th, 13:47.7; Jason Gladfelter, 18th, 13:50.7; Reid Schmidt, 19th, 13:52.9; Samuel Hayes, 22nd, 14:29.7; Nate Anderson, 23rd, 14:30.6; Miles Walt, 25th, 15:01.4; Caleb McLarty, 26th, 15:06.7; and Brock Tejeda, 27th, 15:14.7.

Sequim, Port Angeles and East Jefferson are scheduled to compete at another meet with Kingston, Olympic and Klahowya on Saturday, hosted by Port Townsend High School. Sequim will compete against Kingston while Port Angeles will run against East Jefferson.

For the moment, only prep cross country is allowed to compete. School officials are hoping to hear from the state later this week if the Northwest Region (Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason counties) can move to Phase 2 of COVID-19 restrictions, which would allow fall prep sports such as football, girls soccer and girls swimming to move forward.

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