Sequim runners swift at Seaside

Shoes? Who needs shoes?

Sequim’s Alli Cutting fought off a slew of tough competitors – and lost her shoes in the process – in finishing third overall at the Seaside Three-Course Challenge’s red (difficult) course Saturday in Seaside, Ore.

Her finish, and three other Wolves’ top-12 finishes, highlighted a strong Sequim performance that saw the Wolves’ girls take third and the boys take fourth in their school size classification.

The Challenge, a popular invite bringing 96 of the best teams from Washington and Oregon, is divided into three courses each. In the 7,000-meter boys’ hard course, Sequim senior Kenny Russell placed 10th overall out of at least 480 runners, while teammate Ben Ohnstad took 12th on the easy course, a race featuring more than 400 competitors.

On the girls’ side, Sequim’s Audrey Lichten took 11th place in the moderate course while teammate Zoei Zbaraschuk was 44th out of about 430 runners.

Cutting was about two miles from the finish when the lead pack approached the famed Seaside course puddle. But unusually dry conditions made it more mud than water, and Cutting’s shoes slipped off.

"More people lost shoes this year than ever," Sequim coach Harold Huff noted.

The Wolves have their first league meet of the season Sept. 24 when they travel to Bremerton, taking on the Knights and Klahowya Eagles. They race at an invitational at Bellevue three days later.