PASCO - Cramer Smith bettered his district time by 22 seconds and Katie Green improved on her best time by a whopping 25 seconds as the pair of Comets soared to "the podium" at the state 1B/2B cross country meet in Pasco Saturday, Nov. 6. The podium is for the top 16 finishers in each race at state. Smith placed 13th and Green was 14th for Naselle.

Green's time of 20:52.5 was the second fastest for a freshman girl. Sierra Speiker, a ninth grader from Oroville, won the meet in 18:44.8. Green bettered her time at the district meet by 25 seconds at the challenging Sun Willows Golf Course.

For the Comets boys Smith finished with a time of 17:17.7 and Nathan Reitz was 38th in 18:03.7. Smith's time is his all-time personal best. He missed being in the top 10 by only two and a half seconds.

Coach Scott Smith said, "The weather was perfect. Katie started in 17th place after one mile, but she passed two girls by 'the pond' at the two-mile mark. At the top of the last hill she passed another girl from Riverside Christian to come in 14th. She ran a great race and had a strong kick to finish. She went out fast, but not too fast. She ran a smart race."

Coach Smith said, "Cramer ran a great race by being calm at the start and having a courageous finish. Nate and Cramer got boxed in the first half-mile and were in 35 to 40th place, but made up for it by the first mile marker. Cramer finished strong, but Nate may have waited too long to start passing people. Nate's time was 18 seconds better than he ran at state last season. He had a great senior year, with his 17:06 at Wahkiakum a highlight of his career."

Cramer Smith ran a steady back side of the Sun Willows course and moved from 30th to the top 16 at the 2.7-mile mark. On the final hill he passed his nemesis, Ryley Alvord of Mossyrock, and moved up five places from his finish last season to 13th overall.

Northwest Christian of Lacey was again the top girls' 1B/2B team and Northwest Christian of Spokane was second. White Pass finished third and Ocosta was eighth. Tri-Cities Prep edged Republic and Northwest Christian of Lacey for the boys' 1B/2B team crown.

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