Boys and Girls teams from Thurston County high schools competed Saturday, March 21, 2021 at LBA park in Olympia for a special SSC South Division cross country league and individual titles. Olympia (4A) joined 3A SSC members Capital, North Thurston, Timberline, Yelm and new SSC member River Ridge in the competition.

Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey LogoYelm High School, led by standout Bryce Cerkowniak, won the Varsity Boys team title in a close race with Olympia and North Thurston high schools. In the girls varsity race Capital

won with a strong team effort led by junior Aubey Harrington, Camille Dietrich and Emma Bothern. Olympia and River Ridge took second and third place in the team standings for the ladies race.

Capital women’s coach Danelle Wright was thrilled with her team’s effort. “I was really proud of how our girls ran today,” Wright remarked. “We talked about being a little more conservative in the first mile and then really going for it in the woods section of the course. It was a weird and fantastic season. My girls worked so hard to make the season a positive experience.”

Capitals Aubrey Harrington had the winning time of 21:08.4 finishing nearly two minutes in front of her teammates that finished second and third in the girls race. “I was thankful we had a season,” Harrington stated. “It was weird competing only against one team, so this event was extra special. I’m looking forward to next year. I’ll be training hard this summer and I have Capitals record on my mind.”

Coach Wright praised Harrington and her talent and leadership. “We are blessed to have her on our team, not just for the ability she has to run fast, but she is a great teammate.”

In an anticipated rematch race in the boys varsity race, Olympia junior, Ethan Coleman (16:03.5) repeated an earlier season win over Yelm’s Cerkowniak (16:26.3). For Coleman, he was proud of his team and the adversity they showed during the year. “Our coaches talked about positive self-talk preparing for this race,” Coleman revealed.  “My teammates pushed me and I’m just excited for next year when I’m back as a senior. I’m looking to improve my times and then continue competing in college.”

In this unusual COVID-19 season, both the boys and girls move on to a WSCCCA Virtual Cross Country State Meet competition, where times are virtually recorded to allow athletes to compete around the state against each other. WIAA allowed runners to not wear masks after the start of races.

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