Yacine Guermali was all alone as he crested the last hill, but the Camas High School senior knew this was no time to coast.
A state championship was waiting for him at the bottom.
“I knew if I just finished hard, I would have it. When I finally got to the line, it was just a huge relief,” Guermali said. “Special moment. Bit emotional for me. I’ll definitely share this with my team and my coaches as a huge accomplishment.”
Guermali captured the 4A boys state cross country title Saturday, on the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. He beat more than 150 runners to the finish line in 15 minutes, 12.8 seconds.
Daniel Maton notched eighth place in 15:43 to help the Papermakers rise to fifth place. Jackson Lyne (16:44), David Connell (16:47.4), Nicholas Carter (16:56.2), Nick Duffy (16:56.7) and Cade Greseth (17:02.8) helped the boys improve from sixth-place finishes at state in 2015 and 2014.
In the 4A girls race, Issaquah spoiled Camas’ bid for a third straight state team title. The Eagles bested the Papermakers for the championship by 18 points.
Emma Jenkins earned fifth place for Camas (18:21.7), Halle Jenkins took 20th place (19:02.2), Ellie Postma claimed 26th place (19:14.7) and Madison Child notched 34th place (19:27.3). Issaquah shaved 10 points off its final score before Camas’ fifth runner crossed the finish line.
Aiden Pullen achieved his goal of earning a state medal for Washougal. He took 13th place in the 2A boys race with a time of 16:27.1. Gabriel Dinnel followed in 19th place (16:30.8) and Troy Prince-Butterfield claimed 55th place (17:13). The Panthers earned eighth place as a team.
Amelia Pullen clinched 20th place at state for Washougal in the 2A girls race. Hannah Swigert secured 41st place (20:16.8) to help the Panthers finished in 10th place as a team.
Read more in Thursday’s print edition of the Post-Record.