RAINIER — Rainier had five runners place in the top 25 to capture a second-place finish at the 2B District 4 girls cross country championships Saturday and qualify for state as a team.
The Mountaineers actually tied with Stevenson for first place, but lost a tiebreaker for the district title. The tiebreaker goes to whichever team’s sixth runner finishes higher, and the Mountaineers only have five runners.
Senior Selena Niemi placed fourth in a time of 21:03.35 to spearhead the Mountaineers’ charge to state. Niemi was clipped by Stevenson’s Isabelle Spencer during the homestretch after defeating Spencer for the Central 2B League title last week.
“I really wanted to beat the Stevenson girl but I couldn’t hold on,” Niemi said. “But it’s OK, I’m going to get her at state.”
Senior Faith Boesch put on a clutch performance, shifting to a sixth gear and vaulting to a 14th-place finish after entering districts ranked 30th, passing a cluster of runners to help the Mountaineers’ to their runner-up finish.
Boesch said she’s excited to be heading to state in just her first year running cross country.
“To come out and be with the girls and the team in this atmosphere, I’m just so glad we can share this experience,” Boesch said.
The top 14 runners all qualified for state individually. That includes Morton White Pass junior Ayricka Hughes (10th), Oakville’s Mercedies Dupont (11th), Toledo’s Karley Harris (12th).
The 2B state cross country tournament is set for Saturday, Nov. 6, at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Washington.