CATHLAMET - Stephen Berglund ran away with the boys' cross country race by 17 seconds and Cameo Ulbricht breezed by the pack in the girls' race by a whopping 36 seconds as the pair of Ilwaco runners claimed cross country championships at the Wahkiakum Invitational in Cathlamet Thursday. The Fishermen boys finished second, trailing only a "huge contingent" from powerhouse LaCenter among seven schools at the event.

Coach Sarah Taylor said, "The boys' team ran well and Stephen and Cameo each won their races with exceptional efforts." There were 66 competitors in the boys' division and 34 in the girls' high school race. Evin LaPlatney, Mitch Mortensen, and Tanner Weidner all ran well, finishing 10th, 15th, and 16th respectively. Berglund's winning time was 18:14, LaPlatney finished in 19:11, Mortensen 19:29 and Weidner also ran 19:29.

Taylor said, "Mitchel and Tanner continue to push each other right up to the end of their 5,000 meter races. It makes for an exciting finish. Evin has been suffering from some foot problems, but his time shows that he is healing. Jason Huntley was confused by the course and did not run as well as he had hoped today." Huntley came in 41st in 22:27 to round out Ilwaco's team scoring.

The coach related, "Zhuang Zhuang Zhoa stepped up his pace and ran competitively and Owen Sutherland continues to improve his running form and strength. Seth Sexton improved his time significantly since his last 5K race and Adam Cook continues to improve his strength and speed. Adam Taylor wasn't feeling well today." Zhoa was 43rd (22:47), Sutherland 45th (23:06), Sexton 64th (30:30) and Cook 65th (32:47).

Ulbricht's time of 21:15 defeated Ocosta's young sensation Natalie Bolden by 36 seconds. Kate Denton, who Coach Taylor said was also a bit under the weather, was 29th in 31:10. "Rissa and Anna Gerke pushed each other and competed well." Rissa was 32nd (34:57) and Anna 33rd (36:24). Of the seven schools, only LaCenter's girls had a team score and the other six squads ran incomplete.

Brenden Greenfield was second of 42 runners in the 2,500 meter, 1.5 mile middle school race with a time of 9:48. He was followed closely by Corbin Sutherland in third in 9:53 and Paul de Montaudouin in eighth in 10:26. "Brenden continues to lead the group and Corbin is following close behind, while Paul continues to gain racing skills. They all finished in the top 10," Taylor concluded.

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