Track club excels and Junior Olympics

By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror

The Federal Way Track Club’s cross country team brought a huge contingent to the Junior Olympic National Cross Country meet and ran away with a lot of hardware.

The team, coached by Darryl Genest, took 43 runners to the national championship meet at Rim Rock Park in Lawrence, Kan. and were greeted with negative-four degree wind chill temperatures the second weekend in December. It was the 15th consecutive year that the Federal Way Track Club has been represented at the national meet.

The Junior Olympic National Cross Country Meet showcased the top runners, ages 9 to 18, from across the nation. The meet featured over 2,200 runners and 50 teams, who competed for the coveted top-25 individual positions (All-American awards) and top-3 team spots to make the awards stand. At the opening ceremonies, runners were treated to a motivational speech given by the 1964 United States 10-kilometer Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills.

The Federal Way Track Club finished with nine individual All-Americans and had three teams finish in the top-three.

“Our runners showed an amazing ability to adapt to very extreme racing conditions,” Genest said. “They went from 5-inhces of rain and mud at their Regional meet to 5-inches of snow in brutally cold temperatures at the National meet.”

The highest individual performance came from Federal Way resident David Goldstone. The 12-year-old finished second in the nation in the 11-12 3,000-meter race. Goldstone ended up just .95 seconds behind the national champion.

Federal Way also had two second-place team performances, along with a third place from the 15-16 girls team. The boys 17-18 boys team and the 9-10 girls both finished second.

The boys 17-18 team had three All-American runners in Renton’s Ryan Prentice (sixth place), Puyallup’s Blake Cowan (ninth) and Decatur High School senior Justin Englund (15th).

Other All-American performances were turned in by Tacoma’s Chloe Treleven (22nd, 17-18 girls), Bonney Lake’s Ashlee Sincraugh (16th, 15-16 girls), Veronica Stinnett (22nd, 15-16 girls), Kent’s Ruben Riordan (14th, 11-12 boys), and Federal Way’s Jesse Goldstone (18th, 9-10 boys).

The Federal Way Track Club’s trip to Kansas for the Junior Olympic National Cross Country Meet was made possible through the Weyerhaeuser Foundation’s W.A.V.E. program (Weyerhaeuser Active Volunteer Employees). The program provided the critical funding for this year’s travel expenses.

“The Foundation’s contribution to FWTC made this trip possible for several of our athletes, who would not have otherwise been able to afford it,” Genest said.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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