Courtney Owens was motivated. So were her Washougal teammates.
Districts was not going to be the end of their season. There’s a state championship race to run.
“I’m really proud of everybody. We all worked really hard this year,” Owens said. “Knowing that we get to run with the best in the state is going to be exciting.”
Owens crossed the finish line in third place at districts with a time of 19 minutes, 53 seconds. She beat her league rival, Ridgefield’s Bailey Birch, by two seconds.
Hannah Lintala took 17th place for the Panthers in 21:02. Karina Miller earned 23rd place (22:03), Lydia Lyall grabbed 31st place (22:57) and Meredith Collins claimed 34th place (23:23).
Washougal rose to third place as a team to earn a trip to the state meet. The 2A girls compete at 11 a.m. Saturday, on the Sun Willows Golf Course, in Pasco.
“It’s so much more special when you make it to state as a team,” Miller said.
State will be the final high school cross country race for seniors Miller and Mackenzie Kitchen. Collins is a junior. Owens, Lintala, Lyall and Abby Lees are sophomores.
“The biggest thing is making it. That’s the main goal,” Collins said. “I hope we run our best, have fun and make more memories.”
The long trip road should bring these Panthers closer together.
“Cross country is family,” Lintala said.
Washougal boys Bailey Duncan and Aiden Pullen will join the girls at state. Duncan notched 11th place at districts (17:03) and Pullen followed in 13th place (17:08). The Panther boys teams finished in fourth place, just four points out of qualifying for state.
The 2A boys state race starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
“This is my first time. I think it’s going to be really fun,” Pullen said. “And next year, we are going to take the team.”