The Prep Blog

Covering high school sports in Tacoma, Pierce County and the South Sound

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Category: Cross country


State cross country primer: Can McPhee close the gap on Efraimson in 4A girls?

Saturday at Sun Willows Golf Course, Pasco

Schedule: Wheelchair division, 9:30 a.m.; Class 2B/1B girls, 10 a.m.; Class 1A girls, 10:30 a.m.; Class 2A girls, 11 a.m.; Class 2B/1B boys, 11:30 a.m.; Class 1A boys, noon; Class 3A girls, 12:30 p.m.; Class 4A girls, 1 p.m.; Class 2A boys, 1:30 p.m.; Class 3A boys, 2 p.m.; Class 4A boys, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: $9 for adults, $7 for children and senior citizens.

Storylines: Mount Rainier’s Jordan McPhee won the 4A girls title last season, covering the 5K course in 17:24.7 – more than 40

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Efraimson upends reigning 4A champion McPhee at Westside Classic

In 2011, Mount Rainier High’s Jordan McPhee had it free and easy. She was nearly unbeatable at any race longer than a few city blocks – in cross country or during track and field.

Part of her three 4A titles was a state girls’ cross country triumph in Pasco, capping an undefeated sophomore fall season.

Then along came Camas High’s Alexa Efraimson, considered the next distance-racing dynamo this state has seen. Besides an unmatched desire to win, she has speed and stamina.

That is why the 4A girls showdown Saturday at the Westside Classic – the West Central/Southwest District cross country championships – was so intriguing. Which standout would take a 1-up lead?

On a cold, rainy day, covering a soft, muddy 5-kilometer course, Efraimson did – and impressively by winning the girls district title in 17 minutes, 52 seconds.

It was only the fourth-fastest mark in this meet’s history at this venue behind Jefferson’s Kenna Patrick (17:40 in 2006), Gig Harbor’s Alyssa Andrews (17:45 in 2008) and Bellarmine Prep’s Brie Felnagle (17:50 in 2004). But considering those girls posted those times on a less-challenging layout – and not under the miserable conditions of Saturday – Efraimson’s showing was equally dominant.

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Weekend schedules for district, league postseason tournaments


Westside Classic (West Central/Southwest District)
Today at American Lake Golf Course, Lakewood

Schedule (start of 5K races): Boys 3A at 10:30 a.m.; Boys 4A at 11 a.m .; Girls 2A at 11:30 a.m.; Girls 3A at 12:05 p.m.; Girls 4A at 12:35 p.m.; Boys 2A at 1:10 p.m.; Boys 1A at 1:40 p.m.; Boys 1B/2B at 2:10 p.m.; Girls 1A at 2:40 p.m.


Class 4A West Central District girls championships
Today at Curtis High School, University Place

Schedule: Finals begin at 4 p.m.


* SPSL 4A tournament at Todd Beamer High School

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Awards: All-South Puget Sound League 4A cross county teams

Boy runner of the year: Mason Fletcher, Puyallup
Girl runner of the year: Madison Colley, Emerald Ridge

Boys first team: Michael Ottesen, Puyallup; Jonathan Jackson, Graham-Kapowsin; Haftom Tafere, Beamer; Austin Jex, Beamer; Daniel Konzelman, Puyallup; Tremaine Rambo, Federal Way; Jackson Hogan, Curtis.

Girls first team: Ashley Mason, Beamer; Sammantha Patterson, Rogers; Kelly Davidson, Emerald Ridge; Emily Tacke, Puyallup; Johanna Erickson, Puyallup; Mykaela Thomas, Graham-Kapowsin; Mary Josten, Puyallup.

Boy runner of the year: James Dagley, Tahoma
Girl runner of the year: Jordan McPhee, Mount Rainier

Boys first team: Riley Campbell, Tahoma; Robin Cheema,

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Whitley, Williamson capture race titles at Narrows 3A cross country championships

A year ago, North Thurston sent just one girl to the state cross-country championships. Now Hallie Whitley is back for her junior season – and determined to have company in Pasco.

The Rams built on an impressive season that included an unblemished league record by winning the Class 3A Narrows League championship on Wednesday at Fort Steilacoom Park. Whitley’s first-place finish, in 20 minutes, 06.90 seconds, helped her school win the meet, with 42 points.

“Today was really awesome,” she said. “I was super excited coming in because our girls have been doing so well.”

Whitley said that maintaining a

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Beck changes strategy, cruises to Narrows 4A boys cross country crown

Wolfgang Beck is a man with a plan.

The Gig Harbor junior came into the 4A Narrows League Championship intending to run a smooth, consistent race. But when the group got off to a fast start, he changed his tact to what he called a “slow acceleration,” kicking it up a little more on each hill, and then taking it fast down the final stretch.

“It isn’t my usual tactic, but I was testing things out,” he said. “League is the place to do it.”

Beck’s strategy paid off as he won the 5-kilometer race at Fort Steilacoom Park in

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Because of air quality, Sunfair Invitational in Yakima postponed a week

The Sunfair Invitational, the largest in-season country county invitational in Washington that draws nearly 100 schools to participate, has postponed the race from Saturday until Oct. 6 – a week later.

The reason? Air quality.

Here is a statement from meet director Phil English in today’s Yakima Herald Republic:

“We couldn’t wait any longer, and we really had no choice,” English said. “Predicting what conditions will be like is impossible. With so many teams planning on this, we had to make a decision now.”

English said that after consulting with the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency conditions are expected to

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Will Tahoma girls be WCD’s first 4A repeat XC winner at state since 2007?

Feature link on Peninsula’s McKenzi Bravo, Katie Lynch and Sarah Manning.


Best state hopeful: Considering Charles Wright Academy has the reigning 1A runner-up (David Goldstone) and third-place finisher (Ruben Riordan) – and finished a distant fourth as a team behind Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls was a disappointment. The Tarriers have more quality depth, especially with Travis Hensley now a legitimate top-five runner.

Best runner: Gig Harbor High’s Wolfgang Beck is smart and patient, and not the type of racer who will hammer the pace wire-to-wire. Top local finisher at last year’s 4A meet (fifth at

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