Sequim runners impress at Olympia invitational

Cutting, Lichten, Russell all top-10 at Capital City races

A showdown between two defending state champions became a statement race for at least one Sequim runner at the two-mile Capital City Invite in

Olympia Saturday.

With cross country title-holders Ruby Roberts of Kingston (2A) and Andrea Nelson of Shade Park (4A) toeing the line in the junior girls race, Sequim’s Alli Cutting raced to a second-place finish, less than two seconds

behind Roberts.

The finish was one of several highlights from the invite that saw three Sequim runners post top-10 finishes and nearly each Wolves runner better their marks from the 2007 race.

Sequim’s Audrey Lichten finished third in the girls’ sophomore race; her 12:04 time was only behind Erin Hegarty of Hanford (11:43) and Brittany Kealy of Gig Harbor (12:01), and full minute faster than her previous Capital City race.

"She had a wonderful race, a perfect race," Sequim coach Harold Huff said.

Cutting’s mark, 11:20, was a 48-second improvement after she and Roberts left Nelson at the mile mark and went stride-for-stride with her Kingston counterpart.

Sequim got solid runs from Zoei Zbaraschuk, Alyssa Stratton and Laura Moser, who improved her 2007 mark by more than 30 seconds.

On the boys’ side, Sequim senior Kenny Russell crossed the finish at 10:05, good for seventh place overall.

"He had a good race; he really ran within himself," Huff said of Russell.

Huff said he was particularly impressed with Sequim’s junior boys crew. Colby Robb took 33rd in that race with a 10:38 mark, 42 second better than last year, while Tyler Wilson-Walters (44th, 10:55) finished strong and Drake Apablasa knocked nearly two minutes off his 2007 Capital Invite time.

Joel Christopher was

Sequim’s lone rookie and finished 37th out of 143 runners with an 11:47 time.

Sequim’s Alex Jenkins finished 31st among sophomores with an 11:16 finish, more than 1:10 faster than last year.

"(Alex) really ran a good race – he’s worked all summer," Huff said.

Sequim’s boys were without two of their top runners: Chris Consoliver (conditioning) and Ben Ohnstad (sore shin). Huff said he expects to see both of them back for the team’s next meet, the popular Seaside Three-Course Challenge in Oregon Sept. 20.