Sequim High senior Riley Pyeatt keeps pace with the lead pack in the opening mile of the class 2A state cross country championship meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. Pyeatt earned her second top-10 finish of her prep career, placing fifth overall. Sequim Gazette photos by Michael Dashiell

Sequim High senior Riley Pyeatt keeps pace with the lead pack in the opening mile of the class 2A state cross country championship meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. Pyeatt earned her second top-10 finish of her prep career, placing fifth overall. Sequim Gazette photos by Michael Dashiell

Cross country: Pyeatt takes fifth at state finals

Sequim High senior Riley Pyeatt had some familiar company among the top finishers at the state cross country championships this past weekend.

Pyeatt capped a prolific cross country prep career with a fifth-place finish at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco on Nov. 6, crossing the finishing line in 18 minutes, 50 seconds.

Sophomore teammate Kaitlin Bloomenrader, competing in her first state meet, earned a personal best mark of 20:01.8 to place 20th overall.

Sequim High sophomore Kaitlin Bloomenrader races at the 2A state cross country championship meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. In her first state meet, Bloomenrader placed 20th.

Sequim High sophomore Kaitlin Bloomenrader races at the 2A state cross country championship meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. In her first state meet, Bloomenrader placed 20th.

Pyeatt, who took 13th as a freshman in 2018 and sixth as a sophomore — the state meet was canceled her junior year — was up with the lead pack of four at the first mile split, a quartet that featured Jessica Frydenlund of Anacortes, Kate Laurent of Ellensburg and Logan Hofstee of East Valley (Spokane). Pyeatt was fourth at the marker in 5:40, and held on to fourth at the two-mile mark (11:55) as Frydenlund began to create a little separation.

Frydenlund won in 17:58, with Hofstee in second (18:18).

Sequim sophomore Colby Ellefson finished 51st overall in 17:26, in his first state meet race. Ellefson was racing in the top 20 after the first mile (5:07), about 16 seconds behind eventual 2A champ Cooper Quigley of Selah.

Sophomore Colby Ellefson of Sequim races to a 51st place finish at the state 2A meet in Pasco Nov. 6.

Sophomore Colby Ellefson of Sequim races to a 51st place finish at the state 2A meet in Pasco Nov. 6.

“I felt more relaxed than first time at state,” Pyeatt said, a week after winning the district title. “Overall, I felt really good.”

Bloomenrader was in 24th place at the one-mile split (6:12) and improved to 18th at the second mile marker (12:43).

“The first two miles felt so good; the third mile hurt,” Bloomenrader said, a few minutes after finishing the race.

She said she has some regret not racing last year as a freshman, but that racing at the state meet has given her motivation for next season.

Bloomenrader, who placed eighth at districts, said having a teammate like Pyeatt was a big help during her first high school cross country season.

“(Riley) is a mentor to me who gives me tips and motivates me,” Bloomenrader said. “I’m going to miss her.”

The pair won’t have to say goodbye just yet; both are set to compete for SHS’s track and field squad this spring.

After that, Pyeatt is headed to Abilene Christian University next fall, where she’ll race middle distances for the Wildcats’ track team.

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt makes her way of the first hill at the state of the 2A state cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. Pyeatt finished fifth, earning her third top-15 finish at state in three chances. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Riley Pyeatt makes her way of the first hill at the state of the 2A state cross country meet in Pasco on Nov. 6. Pyeatt finished fifth, earning her third top-15 finish at state in three chances. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

“We visited the school a couple of weeks ago and I clicked with the coach right away,” Pyeatt said.

Sehome’s girls (58 teams points) edged Anacortes (60) for the 2A girls state title; North Kitsap’s girls were the top finishing Olympic League team in seventh (170).

In the 2A boys’ race, Port Angeles’ Jack Gladfelter was 10th (16:27) and teammate Maxwell Baeder was 16th (16:50) as the Roughriders placed seventh as a team. Squalicum won the 2A boys crown.

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