Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt breaks from the starting line at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9. After finishing 13th as a freshman, Pyeatt placed sixth at this year’s state final. Photo courtesy of Tracie Pyeatt

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt breaks from the starting line at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9. After finishing 13th as a freshman, Pyeatt placed sixth at this year’s state final. Photo courtesy of Tracie Pyeatt

Cross country: Pyeatt races to sixth at state

At season’s end, the friendly rivals from the North Olympic Peninsula wound up where they’d been racing all season: practically back-to-back, and among the state’s fastest.

Sequim sophomore Riley Pyeatt, the West Central District champ, raced to a sixth-place finish at the state 2A cross country meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pacso on Nov. 9.

Pyeatt, who led a quartet of Wolves at the state finals, finished the hilly 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 46 seconds — improved her state meet best by seven places and nearly a minute (19:35) from her freshman effort in 2018.

“I feel like I improved by a lot; the course felt easier in a way,” Pyeatt said.

“Last year I felt I was struggling on it,” she said, but the training in between — much of it focused on seepd work via 800-meter intervals — helped improve that time.

She placed one back of Port Angeles junior Lauren Larson, who clocked in at 18:41 for fifth place overall and helping the Roughriders take ninth place as a team.

“It’s a good rivalry,” Pyeatt said. “We compete on the course, but off the course we’re still really good friends.”

Pyeatt’s teammates Anastasia Updike and Jessica German saw their first state meet action Saturday. Updike, a freshman, finished in a personal-best 22:23 to place 119th overall while German, a junior, was 136th, finishing in 23:03.

Pyeatt was the second-fastest 2A girl underclassmen at the state meet; only Ellensburg sophomore Kate Laurent (fourth, 18:38) had a better overall finish.

“I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite course — it’s pretty hilly one,” Pyeatt said of the Pasco 5k.

“I think favorite was districts (at Chambers Creek Properties in University Place, one week prior), because it was really fast.”

Sequim junior Eli Gish was the Wolves’ lone boys state competitor, finishing 150th overall in 18:14 in his second state meet; he qualified with the Wolves’ team as a freshman in 2017.

Led by senior state champ Leah Holmgren (18:16), Ellensburg won the 2A girls title with 83 points, topping runner-up Bellingham (102 points).

On the boys’ side, perennial powerhouse Sehome won the team title with Steilacoom in second. Port Angeles’ boys took 12th. Pullman senior Eliason Kabasenche won boys’ 2A state title in 15:23.

Pyeatt named all-league

Thanks to her top finish at the Olympic League meet on Oct. 24, Sequim high sophomore Riley Pyeatt was named to the All-Olympic League for 2019.

Pyeatt, the lone Sequim Wolf on the all-league list, raced to an 18:53 for her first league title.

Five Port Angeles runners were named to the all-league list after finishing in the top 10 in their respective races, including Lauren Larson and Kynzie DeLeon on the girls’ side and Adam Borde, Jack Gladfelter and Thomas Shaw on the boys’s side.

Sequim sophomore Riley Pyeatt, left, and Port Angeles junior Lauren Larson celebrate top-10 finishes at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9.

Sequim sophomore Riley Pyeatt, left, and Port Angeles junior Lauren Larson celebrate top-10 finishes at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9.

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, center, breaks from the starting line at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9. After finishing 13th as a freshman, Pyeatt placed sixth at this year’s state final. Photos courtesy of Tracie Pyeatt

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt, center, breaks from the starting line at the state 2A cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 9. After finishing 13th as a freshman, Pyeatt placed sixth at this year’s state final. Photos courtesy of Tracie Pyeatt

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