Cross country season starts in Olympia


Runners from W.F. West, Rochester, Black Hills, Tumwater, and Rainier joined hundreds of other athletes Saturday at LBA Park for the Olympia Invite, kicking off the cross country slate in southwest Washington.

With so many runners on the course, the meet was split up into eight races — boys and girls for each class — of 2 miles.

Rochester junior Gunnar Morgan had the area’s best time, taking fourth place in the junior boys race in 10:53. Just over 30 seconds behind him, Tumwater’s Coen Smith took 20th, at 11:26.87

Thirteen more local runners placed in the top 20 of their respective fields.

Tumwater’s Alan Penrose III placed seventh in the senior boys race at 11:12, with teammate Reis Howell two-tenths of second behind him in eighth.

The Thunderbirds had Jude Furubotten place 8th in the sophomore boys race (11:16.92), with Zane McAferty (16th, 11:51) and Malaki Jenkins (17th, 11:52) behind him, and Annabelle Clapp take 10th in the senior girls race (13:58), with Olivia Ahrens (18th 14:56) behind her.

Black Hills’ Taelor Woo came in right after Ahrens with a time of 15:03 in the senior girls race.

Rainier’s Rayanna Wisner led the local field in the freshman girls race with a time of 14:26, ahead of Tumwater’s Alexandra Broome (11th, 14:28) and Raegan Smith (19th, 15:31). The Mountaineers also had Madison Igram finish 13th in the junior girls race at 13:56.

Rochester; Mercedies Dupont placed 17th among freshman girls at 14:41.

W.F. West didn’t have any runners in the top 20s. The Bearcats’ best time came from junior Ezra Birchard (11:50), while their best placing was shared by Jane Birchard (17:31) and Graham Wilson (13:48), who took 36th in the freshman girls and boys races, respectively.