PORT ANGELES — A huge contingent of runners from the North Olympic Peninsula will be making the trip to Pasco this weekend to compete in the state 1A and 2A WIAA State Cross-Country Championships.
Port Angeles will be sending its entire boys and girls’ teams to Pasco and they will be joined by some talented runners from Port Townsend, Sequim, Chimacum and Forks, all of whom have a chance to make some serious noise at the state meets.
Runners to keep an eye on are Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, Port Angeles’ Lauren Larson and Kynzie DeLeon and Port Townsend’s Nathan Cantrell. All four could place high in their races.
Pyeatt has been coming on strong lately. She won both the Olympic League 2A Division and the West Central District III 2A championship last weekend. Pyeatt finished 13th as a freshman in 2018 with a time of 19 minutes, 35.80 seconds. However, she has shaved a ton off that time this year as her district-winning time of 18:38.2 was a personal-best and the sixth-best in the state this year.
Larson, who finished fourth in the state in 2018, has won five cross-country races this year and has a personal-best time of 18:21.5 at the Nike Hole in the Wall race on Oct. 12. That is the third-fastest 2A time in the state.
Cantrell, meanwhile, finished second at the WCD III 1A meet and won the Olympic League 1A meet. He finished 19th in last year’s state race, but that was with a time of just over 17 minutes. Cantrell’s personal-best time this year is 50 seconds better at 16:11.4, also at the Nike Hole in the Wall. That is the seventh-fastest time in the state.
DeLeon has developed into a huge one-two punch with Larson as the Roughrider girls won most of their meets this season thanks in large part to this tandem. DeLeon was fifth at district and fourth in the league. She finished 10th at last year’s state 2A meet with a time of 19:26.
However, DeLeon has shaved over half a minute off that time this year. Her personal-best time of 18:53.4 is ninth-best in the state.
The Port Angeles girls finished eighth last year as a team with a very young squad and with four girls who qualified individually for state from district — Larson, DeLeon, Ella Holland (15th) and Jenna Goff (33rd) — plus another who just missed (Kathryn Guttormsen, 36th), that’s a strong five-runner squad that has a chance to place high at state. The girls finished second in the district this year.
The PA girls’ squad is rounded out by Emma Weaver and Gracie Townsend with alternates Maxine Waddell and Alisandra Baccus. This is still a young team with only one senior — Holland.
The Roughrider boys are led by a freshman, Jack Gladfelter, who finished 13th at district. His best time of the year is 16:46.9. The Roughrider boys didn’t get a lot of individual wins this year, but they grabbed a number of team wins as the Riders were very good at placing a bunch of runners in the top 30 all year.
The Riders boys are young with three freshmen and two sophomores going to state. They’re led by one senior, Thomas Shaw, who had six top 10 finishes this year.
Joining Shaw and Gladfelter at state are Adam Borde, Naaman McGuffey, Joshua Gavin, Maxwell Baeder and Langdon Larson. Kowan Kasten and Nathan Marple are going as alternates. The Port Angeles boys finished 16th at state as a team last year, but this is a completely different team this year with all the sophomores and freshmen.
Pyeatt will not be alone at state. She is joined by her teammates Jessica German (28th at district) and Anastasia Updike (30th at district). The Wolves’ Eli Gish qualified for the boys race by finishing 34th.
Joining Cantrell at the 1A race is Redhawks teammate Kincaid Gould, who came in ninth at district.
The Port Townsend girls will have a full team after finishing second at district. They are led by Anika Avelino, who finished third at district with a time of 19:56.40. She will be joined by Camryn Hines, Willow Bennett, Indigo Casad, Gina Brown, Frances Berry and Cece Magee.
Chimacum’s Rachel Matthes qualified for state by finishing sixth at district.
Coming out of Forks, the Spartans’ Madelyn Archibald, who won the Evergreen 1A championship, qualified for state by finishing eighth at the District IV meet. Her teammate Karen Ensastegui also qualified for state by finishing 16th at district.
On the boys’ side, the Spartans’ Wesley Camacho qualified for state by finishing ninth. Matthew Larson (16th) and Colton Duncan (20th) also qualified for state.