It’s gotten so the Sehome boys cross country team isn’t just running against the 15 other teams to qualify for the Class 2A State Championships when it heads to Pasco every November – the Mariners are running against ghosts of past Sehome teams.
Sehome entered Saturday’s race at the Sun Willows Golf Course as five-time defending state champions, winners of seven of the past nine 2A crowns and eight championships overall. In fact, the Mariners had not finished lower than second since 2004, meaning there was a lot to live up to.
Well, you can add another title to those totals. Sehome scored 94 points to beat out second-place Pullman’s 107 and stretch its string to six straight.
“Six in a row, that says something,” said junior Reed Smith, who led Sehome with his third-place finish. “We’re super psyched about that. Both boys and girls winning titles, that’s pretty special, too. It shows that Sehome can still dominate. ... It means so much continuing the legacy that the guys started before us.”
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Coach Kevin Ryan admits he questioned whether this year’s team could live up to those kinds of expectations when he looked at it a few years back.
“This was the year we were concerned about,” Ryan said. “But we had a lot of young guys step up. They really came along and paid dividends for us.”
Smith certainly was among those young runners. So were junior Lucas Cunningham (19th) and sophomore Jacob Alexander (32nd). Even senior Kirby Drake produced results that would have been unexpected just a few years ago, Ryan said, as he is just in his second year running cross country. Drake finished 44th Saturday, one spot behind fellow senior Tadeusz Pforte to round of Sehome’s five scoring runners.
Smith’s run was particularly “brilliant” Saturday, Ryan said, giving him credit for listening to and following the race plan exactly, as the junior was asked to move up steadily through the race and not make any what Smith called “dramatic” moves.
“It was fun,” Smith said. “It hurt, but it was definitely worth it.”
Class 2A boys results