Lindbergh’s Feven Fessehatzion, Bellevue Christian’s Craig Lambert also individual winners at the Westside Classic.
LAKEWOOD — He fell. He finished third. But it was all fine with Graeme Schroeder, as long as his Tahoma High School boys cross country team took first at the rain-soaked Westside Classic Saturday at the American Lake Golf Course.
And the top-ranked Class 4A Bears did just that, cruising to the West Central District III title with 51 points, well ahead of second-place Camas (99).
Keegan Fitzpatrick was actually the top Tahoma performer, taking second to Chanse Gilbert from Skyview of Vancouver, who pushed to the front early and stayed there.
Schroeder laughed about the late fall, noting he hopped right up and wasn’t hurt — and said it wasn’t a factor in his finish.
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“Winning a district meet wasn’t really my goal today,” he said. “I just wanted to place high enough to get the team win. Really, it’s all about state.”
And even there, Schroeder would take a team title over an individual win — although he said he intends to go full-bore after both.
Andrew Cooper from Liberty of Issaquah shares that attitude. He won the 2A boys crown Saturday over Marques Chacon from Evergreen of White Center, and the third-ranked Patriots just missed the overall crown, falling a point shy of No. 2 Sequim, 54-55. His goal is to win in Pasco, but team comes first.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he recited.
Another title contender could be Feven Fessehatzion of Lindbergh, who won the 2A girls race Saturday when the weather was at its worst — sideways rain blew as she was crossing the finish line.
Fessehatzion, a junior whose first name rhymes with seven, downplayed the weather.
“The conditions were horrible, but this is Washington weather,” she said. “The conditions are something we are all running in, so everyone is getting the same weather. No one has an advantage in it. But it definitely throws a curve at all of us and really tests our strength and how we run.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.”
Running wasn’t much fun for Fessehatzion most of last season as she battled what turned out to be iron deficiency anemia, which left her with little energy. But once diagnosed and treated, she began to return to form and went on to place eighth at state.
This year, she’s hoping for at least a top-five finish, which would give her the opportunity to run in the Border Clash.
• The second-ranked Liberty girls took the 2A Westside title in impressive fashion with 30 points with their top five finishing fourth through eighth.
• Sophomore James Mwaura from Lincoln of Tacoma ran the fastest time of the day (16:18.20) in winning the 3A boys race and Central Kitsap was the easy team winner.
• Lakes freshman Tatiana Smith was the 3A girls winner, while Enumclaw nipped Central Kitsap for top team honors, 73-75.
• In Class 1A, Bellevue Christian’s Craig Lambert and Jared Donnell went 1-2 and the Vikings placed second as a team to Charles Wright. Seattle Christian freshman Sage Gibson took the girls race with Vashon earning team honors.
• Enumclaw captured the girls 3A title, with Hunter Storm the top finisher for the Hornets in 20:35.20.