Capital cross country teams thrive on road

THE OLYMPIAN

Graydon Manning and Amanda Wright led the way as Capital\'s boys and girls cross country teams continued to prepare for the offseason with impressive performances on Saturday.

Manning finished fourth overall, and the Cougars were 10th out of 48 teams, as the boys traveled to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the Stanford Invitational.

Manning, a senior, covered 5,000 meters in 15 minutes, 47 seconds, eclipsing his personal best by three seconds.

The rest of his teammates finished in times ranging from 17:11 to 18:24. In order, they were sophomore Adam Sault, sophomore Bryce Lehman, senior Ale Vega, junior Noah Smith, junior Ted Christensen and sophomore Jacob Thorpe.

\"We\'re a young team, and each week we get a little bit better,\" Capital boys coach Jerry Miller said.

\"That\'s what happened today against teams from all over the place. And the JV team got sixth, so overall it was a great day for us.\"

On the girls front, the Cougars won the Mount Baker Invitational which included two of the state\'s best among some 30 teams.

Amanda Wright led the way, finishing 14th with a time of 19:07 over three miles, as Capital edged Central Valley of Spokane 131-135. Squalicum was third with 151.

Central Valley is a 4A school, but Squalicum is the defending 3A state champion and entered the weekend ranked No. 1 in the state poll. Capital also is 3A.

\"We ran really well today, but they were without their number two runner,\" Capital girls coach Kevin Wright said of beating Squalicum.

\"If she had been there, it probably would have improved them enough to beat us. They have no depth and have only three really good girls, so it would have made it real close.\"

Though Kevin Wright didn\'t have times or places for them, he said Emily Wallen, Bailey Campbell and Katie Blue finished in a knot not far behind Amanda Wright, giving the Cougars good balance.

\"Central Valley\'s top two girls finished ahead of Emily, Bailey and Katie, but they finished ahead of both Central Valley and Squalicum\'s third runners\" he said.

\"For our team to pull out the win, it was a great team effort. And the JV team was also able to beat Central Valley 34-35 for first place.\"

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