Prep Cross Country | Lakewood thinks of what could have been

PASCO — Maybe if this was a movie, the Lakewood boys cross-country team would have stood atop the podium at Sun Willows Golf Course, with the sun gleaming off a first-place trophy.

Maybe if things had gone different, Chad Skiles would have finally run alongside his brother, Scott, just like he always dreamed.

But on Saturday, Lakewood of Snohomish County finished fifth in the Class 2A boys race, one point from the awards handed out to the top four.

And Scott was still a fresh but painful memory.

Scott Skiles, who finished second in the Class 2A boys race last year as a junior, died in a car accident just before school started this fall.

\"Every year, I\'ve seen Scott go to state and run,\" said his younger brother Chad, a freshman alternate on the team. \"I\'ve always dreamed of going here with him. I always have. I was so looking forward to him winning state this year.\"

All summer long, Chad recalled, they talked about running together at state, and how fast they would be.

Lakewood coach Jeff Sowards said he didn\'t feel the need for any inspirational speeches before the meet, opting instead to play a slideshow at the team hotel Friday night. Some goofy pictures of Scott popped up. The team laughed.

\"It\'s in their hearts,\" Sowards said. \"We don\'t have to say anything anymore.

\"They know the impact Scott had on them, and what he\'d want them to do. They take their strength from his example.\"