VANCOUVER — The boys side of the Kelso cross country team put together a team win in its first outing in its home state, beating out Skyview and Union at Pacific Park.
The Hilanders put four runners in the top-10, finishing with a team score of 33 to the Storm’s 43 and Titans’ 53.
Leading the way for Kelso was junior Kamren Mattison, who came in second to Union’s Marius Lafond-Kervegant with a time of 17:58. Those two were the first across the line by over 20 seconds, before Evan Hebblethwaite was the first Skyview runner to finish.
Then, it was time for the Hilanders to stack up points. Sophomore Jake Beck crossed the line in 18:20 for fourth. Evan Williams placed seventh in 18:34, and Giovannie Lopez was nine seconds behind him for eighth.
With those four in, Kelso already had a firm grip on the result, and Norman Hartman finished it off with a 12th-place finish at 19:48. For good measure, three more Hilanders — freshmen Owen Gallagher and Jesus Rios and sophomore Jacob Rivera — came in together in the next 14 seconds to round out the top 15, though their scores didn’t end up counting.
On the girls’ side, the Titans placed all five of their scorers in the top seven to run away with the result, scoring a 19 to Kelso’s 54 and Skyview’s 55. The Hilanders did have the lone gaps in the Union block at the top of the card, though, with Sophia Cheslock (22:47) finishing third and Lily Evans (23:28) coming in sixth.
Mina Rios and Madalynn Moe were the next to finish for the Hilanders, crossing the line in a group of six runners that all finished within two seconds of each other and officially taking 13th and 14th place, respectively.
Sophomore Baylie Collins completed the Kelso team score in 20th with a time of 25:56, with senior Megan Gott right on her heels.
Kelso will go north this weekend, participating in an invitational at Fort Steilacoom Park.