Sports

Snow doesn't stop track club

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

The Federal Way Track Club proved to be one of the top cross country programs in the nation earlier this month. The Federal Way Track Club had eight All-American age-group placers a national-champion team and a second-place team at the United States Amateur Track and Field Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships, held Dec. 10 at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI.

The meet showcased the top athletes, ages 9 to 18, from across the nation and included 2,500 distance runners and 86 teams.

“It was an amazing and memorable experience for the entire team,” said FWTC head coach Darryl Genest.

Also making the national meet even more memorable was the weather in Rhode Island. Over a foot of snow fell the night before the race and also brought 47 mph wind gusts. Racers had to trudge through 16 inches of fresh snow during the competition, slowing down times and making the already-hard run, even harder.

But the snowy weather didn’t stop several Federal Way Track Club runners from excelling. The club’s 9- and 10-year old girls team finished as the first-place team in the nation in the 3,000-meter competition and the 15- and 16-year-old boys team came within one point of being crowned national champions.

In the girls 9-10 division, Seattle’s Eliza Rice finished fourth overall, newcomer Amy-Eloise Neale (Snohomish) finished fifth and Lily Englebrekt was 17th overall.

The 15-16 boys team had three of its six runners earn All-American honors by placing in the top-25 in the nation. Tahoma High School sophomore Jason Lafler ended up in second-place overall in a time of 15:17. Lafler placed fourth at the Class 4A Washington State Cross Country Championships. Auburn Riverside’s Blake Cowen finished fifth and Decatur sophomore Justin Englund also earned All-American honors by finishing 17th.

Other Federal Way Track Club individual runners earning All-American honors were Black Diamond’s Chad Meis (16th place) in the 17-18 boys event, Bonney Lake’s Ashlee Sincraugh (eighth place) in the 13-14 girls, Federal Way’s David Goldstone (sixth place) and Lake Forest Park’s Simon Barbe (19th) in the 9-10 bantam boys division.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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