Region Titles for Trojan Cross Country Teams
(Bremerton, W.A.) – The Trojan Cross Country programs competed on Friday, October 26 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in the North-West Region Championship hosted by Olympic College.
The men’s 8-kilometer competition began at 3:30pm and the Trojans quickly assumed control of the race. After the first mile, Everett runners occupied 8 of the top 10 individual positions. With the Trojans racing with top 7 spots on the line for the NWAACC Championship, there was no holding back for runners on the bubble. Sophomore Habtamu Rubio again led the way for the Trojans on the way to earning the individual Region Title. His time of 26:39 was well off his PR performance, but with a hilly course made wet and sloppy from the persistent downpour almost no one was close to their PR performances.
Among those runners vying for one of those coveted top 7 positions was freshman Kris Mugrage from Lakewood High School who turned in the race of his young collegiate career. Kris, who had finished no higher than 6th on the team all season finished 2nd overall and was the second Trojan to cross the line. Kris’ time of 26:58 was very close to his 26:44 PR posted on a much faster Sundodger course. The next four runners to cross the line were all Trojans; in third was sophomore Nate Starr in 27:09, fourth was sophomore Nic Lawrence in 27:16, in 5th was Aaron Campbell in 27:44 and in 6th was freshmen Mark Garcia in 27:44. In all, the Trojans had the first 6 finishers and had freshmen Zack Speiker and Mitch Beard finish in 9th and 10th giving the Trojans 8 of the first 10 runners and a perfect 15-point team score.
In winning the men’s team Title, the Trojan men extended their streak to 7 straight Northern Region Championships; a run that began in 2006 in Coach Koenigs’ first season at EvCC. Rounding out the team scoring, Green River was 2nd (55 points), Highline was 3rd (98 points), Olympic College was 4th (103 points) and Skagit Valley College took 5th (104 points). Tori Ammons of Green River College with a much improved Green River program was honored by the coaches as the Northern Region Men’s Coach of the Year – an honor last received by Coach Koenigs in 2009.
In the women’s competition, which was underway at 4:30pm, the Trojans again wasted little time in asserting themselves. The Trojan ladies immediately took control of the race and had the top 9 runners from start to finish. Sophomore Veronica Hall of Marysville-Getchell had a breakout performance and was the individual champion posting a PR time of 18:53; the only PR on the day for the Trojans in the sloppy conditions and on the challenging course. Hall used a strong last mile to separate from her teammates after having run in a pack of six Trojans for much of the race. Finishing next for the Trojans was freshman Marren Haneberg and right on her heels was sophomore Katie Strong – both crossed in 19:06. Catie Arrigoni (19:13), Rachel Cundy (19:14), Kristina Cordy (19:26) and Chelsea Stokes (19:42) were 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th overall and for the Everett team. Placing 8th and 9th overall were Trojan sophomore Danielle Friend (20:07) and redshirt freshmen Kaitlin Fisher (20:11).
In the team competition the Trojan ladies earned a perfect 15-point score. Green River took 2nd (50 points) in the team competition and was the only other team in the Region to field a full team. With incomplete teams, but still with some very solid individual performances, were Skagit, Olympic and Highline. Coach Koenigs was honored by the coaches as the Region’s Women’s Coach of the Year for the fifth time in the last six years.
By virtue of both teams posting perfect 15-point team scores, the Trojans were the Combined Region Champion for the sixth straight year – an award that may not exist in the future and has already been eliminated for the NWAACC Championships beginning this year. The 2009 Trojan XC team is the only other team to post perfect men’s and women’s team scores in the same year at this meet.
With just the NWAACC Championship left on the schedule and set for November 10th at Spokane’s Plante’s Ferry Park, the Trojans return home and will begin their two-week taper. In Spokane, the Trojans will look to extend their streak of podium finishes; both squads have been on the podium (top 3) every year since 2007. Heading into the competition, the Trojan women look like the favorites to win their 3rd Team Title in the last 4 years. While the Trojan men, who won their first NWAACC Title in 2011, look to be underdogs heading into the meet with strong Spokane and Lane teams to contend with. The NWAACC competition will begin with the men’s 8-kilometer race at 11:00am followed by the women’s 5-kilometer competition at noon.