Over 1,200 athletes from 31 high schools competed at Capital High School Saturday, September 14 in the Capital Invite cross country competition.

North Thurston Public Schools LogoThe Capital Invite started 26 years ago with just local schools competing. Now, runners from all over the state compete making it the largest invite in the state.

Danelle Wright, Capital cross country coach, praised the experience. “The event builds connections as runners get to compete against one another in races (eight) that feature the same grade,” she said.

Brad Hooper, North Thurston High School assistant coach, was excited with the outlook for the Rams team. “We are in good shape and have extremely coachable athletes that listen and apply race strategy,” he stated. “The competition here is outstanding and the event is extremely well run. The volunteers are awesome and we get to see all levels of competition.”

Local Thurston County high school teams from Capital, Olympia, Tumwater, Black Hills, River Ridge, North Thurston, Timberline, Rochester, Tenino, Rainier and Northwest Christian high schools competed, along with several local Middle School teams.

Wright spoke about the atmosphere the event creates to make it a fantastic experience for every athlete and team competing. “The running community in general in the south sound region is very supportive between the schools,” she said. “At Capital, we coach a culture that strives to encourage and support all runners.”

Local Top Ten Finishers Included:

Senior Boys

  1. Connor Griffith 10:58.44, Olympia
  2. Noah Phillips 11:08.27, NW Christian
  3. Garrett McSheffrey 11:15.97, NW Christian
  4. Max Barnes 11:22.35, Olympia
  5. Ben Kosa 11:23.35, Olympia

Senior Girls

  1. Olivia Bailon 13:52.82, Tumwater
  2. Payton Huss 14:33.57, North Thurston
  3. Shasta Hecht 14:38.74, Capital
  4. Sophie Beadle 14:40.88, Rainier
  5. Lillian Gow 14:47.32, Tumwater

Junior Boys

  1. Samir Amin 11:15.16, North Thurston
  2. Ian Coker 11:53.97, North Thurston
  3. Troy Peternell 11:58.93, Capital

Junior Girls


Sophomore Boys

  1. Ethan Coleman 11:13.68, Olympia
  2. Beau Fields 12:04.94, Tumwater
  3. Jeron Griffin 12:07.20, Black Hills
  4. Levi Jennings 12:10.82, Rochester
  5. George Merrifield 12:14.78, Olympia

Sophomore Girls

  1. Aubrey Harrington 13:46.46, Capital
  2. Selena Niemi 14:25.17, Rainier

Freshman Boys

  1. Riley Wilson 12:16.21, Timberline
  2. John Hoffer 12:18.88, Tumwater
  3. Dagim Cherniske 12:37.98, North Thurston

Freshman Girls

  1. Josie Ryder 14:59.88, NW Christian
  2. Rachel Carlson 15:23.90, NW Christian

All results are posted at the Athletic Net website.

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