The entire Oak Harbor boys cross country team — and two from the girls team — have qualified for the upcoming state cross country meet.
At the Oct. 30 district meet at Lakewood High School, the boys placed second overall out of 17 teams in the district team standards, with a team score of 135.
A total of 114 runners competed in the race, with Brandon Moore (15:36.75) from Arlington nabbing the title of district champion.
The Oak Harbor boys team included a seventh place finish by Cooper Billiter (16:54.39), 12th by Jacob Pearson (17:07.07), 17th by Taylen Bader (17:08.93), 33rd by Ralph Ramier (17:32.69), 66th by Jeroam Wood-Pina (18:38.32), 69th by Miles Erikson (18:40.12), and 73rd by Dylan Radke (18:47.43).
“Going into the race we knew we had a target on our back and our boys had to step up to defend their position,” Coach Eric Peterson said.
As the team’s No. 4 and No. 5 runners, senior Ramier and sophomore Wood-Pina were pivotal in helping to achieve the team’s score. Since they were freshmen, Ramier and senior Billiter have had the goal of qualifying as a team for the state meet.
“We were so proud of the boys and the effort they put forward,” Peterson said.
The girls placed eighth out of 16 teams in the district team standards, with a team score of 213.
A total of 108 runners competed in the race, with Paige Gerrard (18:36.1) of Snohomish taking first place.
For the Oak Harbor girls, just two will be advancing to state. Adrienne Root took 11th place (20:08.9) and Carly Vangiesen finished in 13th (20:18.1).
Peterson said Root had been battling a couple of injuries at the time of her race on Saturday.
“Running hurt, she hung tough and pushed to an 11th place finish — it was really inspirational to watch,” he said.
Vangiesen is a former soccer player who “found her calling” with cross country.
“She is such a hard worker throughout the season and all of that hard work paid off on Saturday,” Peterson said.
Five other girls from Oak Harbor also ran in the race. Clair Paul was 49th (22:06.9), Paige Jenkins was 70th (23:15.3), Vanessa Cisco was 73rd (23:26.0), Jane Williams was 87th (24:27.7) and Creside Cardenas was 90th (24:51.7).
The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Wash.