Cougars win 1A girls team title; La Center, Washougal, and Fort Vancouver teams excel, as well
The Seton Catholic Cougars did not run home from Pasco this weekend.
Probably could have, though, just off the adrenaline from Saturday’s championship performance.
Seton Catholic won the Class 1A state girls cross country team championship, with sophomore Alexis Leone leading the way with an individual title at Sun Willows Golf Course.
On Monday, the team was given a salute at school with an announcement of their accomplishment.
“Staff and students were super excited,” coach Jaysun Pyatt said. “The student body gave a nice cheer. Everyone is really proud of how these girls did.”
The team celebrated at the event, of course, then kept celebrating throughout the day. The Cougars had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Tri-Cities, and proudly brought their trophy with them.
“We carried it around all day. Took a lot of pictures,” Pyatt said.
Leone outkicked Meridian’s Kayla Aalpoel to win the individual title. The two had raced the previous week and Leone cruised to victory.
“She came out ready to race,” Pyatt said of Aalpoel. “Pretty much went shoulder to shoulder the whole race. To see Alexis kick it in at the end was really cool.”
Leone came in at 18 minutes, 5 seconds, two seconds faster than Aalpoel. Pyatt said rain Saturday morning made for slower racing conditions, but both athletes excelled.
From there, it was all about watching the rest of the Cougars finish strong. Lara Carrion finished seventh overall.
Avery Garrison, Sara Cordova, and Virginia Carrion rounded out the five for scoring. Addison Miller also ran for the Cougars. Of those six, Lara Carrion is the lone senior.
Together, the team finished with 52 points, 31 points better than second-place Medical Lake.
“The whole team performed,” Pyatt said. “This year, it’s been such a crazy year for us. I don’t think we got a (team) result the first month.”
With injuries and illness, the Cougars could not put together a full squad at some meets.
They got healthy, then they peaked at the perfect time.
“Everybody had to do what they were supposed to do in order to go after the state title, and they did that,” Pyatt said. “They all ran as hard as they could, and the results speak for themselves.”
La Center, meanwhile, also earned a team trophy, finishing third. Lauren Fox paced the Wildcats, finishing 13th overall.
Clark County had strong finishes throughout the classifications.
Columbia River’s Daniel Barna capped a sensational senior season with a second-place finish in the Class 2A boys race.
In the 2A girls race, Washougal finished third in the team standings and Fort Vancouver took fourth.
Elle Thomas, sixth place, and Sydnee Bootby, ninth place, led the Panthers to a trophy.
Dani Buttrell finished 21st overall to pace the Trappers on the way to the fourth-place finish.
Suzie Johnson of Cedar Tree Classical Christian took sixth place in the Class 1B/2B girls competition. In all, more than 100 athletes from Clark County were listed in the WIAA state program to race in the state championship. For all results, go to the cross country page: https://wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=311