CROSS COUNTRY: Several runners qualify for state championship meet

The hundreds of runners who converged on the American Lake Golf Course in Lakewood had to battle rain, cold and wind Saturday at the massive Westside Classic cross county meet.

But several runners from the Federal Way school district survived the less-than-optimal running conditions to qualify for the state cross country meets.

The top-seven teams and top-35 individual runners in both the 4A boys and girls competitions automatically moved on to the state meet, which will take place Saturday at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

The Todd Beamer boys missed out of having its entire team running at state by just one place Saturday at the Westside Classic. The Titans finished up in eighth place overall in the meet that included schools from the South Puget Sound, Narrows and Greater St. Helen's League.

But the Titans will still be well-represented at the state meet. Individually, Beamer was led by junior Austin Jex, who finished up in 12th-place overall in a time of 16:35.08. Olympia's Peter Kesting won the 5,000-meter race in 16:10.65.

Also qualifying for Beamer was senior Blake Hansen, who ended up in 17th in a time of 16:44.99.

The Federal Way boys will also be represented by a pair of runners at state. Mitch Stewart and Mussie Simon will make the trip to the Tri-Cities. Stewart finished 19th overall in 16:46.30 and Simon was 25th in 16:48.61.

Stewart is running cross country during his senior season after winning two-straight Class 4A state singles championships. Stewart is set to play tennis at the University of Washington.

Decatur will also have representation in the Tri-Cities next weekend. Kaden Lusink finished up in 15th place in the 3A boys race at the Westside Classic Saturday. Lusink ran a time of 17:39.08.

On the girls' side, Beamer junior Ashley Mason and Jefferson's Kelin Doner qualified for the state meet. Mason was 24th overall at the Westside Classic in a time of 20:01.10 and Doner, a senior, was 32nd in a time of 20:23.64.

The Beamer girls finished up in 11th place overall in the team standings a week after taking second at the SPSL Championships.

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