PASCO - In state cross country competition "The Podium" is where it is at and Ilwaco junior Cameo Ulbricht used a lethal kick the last 100 meters to earn twelfth place in Pasco Saturday and with her finish a visit to the hallowed podium for the awards ceremony, where she received a medal for her efforts.
Ulbricht finished with a time of 20:25, nipping Freeman's Mackenzie DeRuyter by a mere two seconds for her medal. The Fishermen boys finished in tenth place as a team at state and were ahead of Trico League rival LaCenter who was 11th for the first time this season on the arduous, hilly course at Sun Willows Golf Course.
Stephen Berglund earned 23rd place among 144 runners and finished 37 seconds ahead of his pace of last season to lead the Ilwaco boys' efforts. "I have mixed feelings. I could have done better in this, my last race; but my time was OK. The entire field was quite a bit faster than last season's." Evin LaPlatney was 35th in 17:33. "I had a really good run. I took about a minute off my time from last season at state." Berglund was an alternate as a freshman and competed each of his last three seasons in Pasco and LaPlatney also competed as a sophomore and is a junior.
Tanner Weidner finished 62nd in 18:02 and was seventh among all freshmen in the state meet. Mitchel Mortenson was 89th in 18:38 and Jason Huntley finished 129th to round out the Fishermen's scoring. Owen Sutherland turned in a personal best of 21:11 on the challenging state course, something that is "not often done" according to Coach Sarah Taylor as he finished 139th and Zhuang Zhuang Zhoa was 141st in 21:44.
Taylor said, "The weather held out and the guys all ran really well." She said of Ulbricht's effort, "Cameo had a great finish, a really strong kick. She pulled ahead with about 100 meters to go and earned a medal and she's pretty happy right now. We worked hard and had a great season."
The Fishermen scored 235 points to 236 for LaCenter and Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls was state boys' champ with 65 points. King's edged LaCenter for the girls' cross country title 49-80.