Sophomore-laden Elma squad wins frosh-soph boys title at PLU XC Invite

PARKLAND — Driven by its talented underclassmen, Elma took home some hardware from the Pacific Lutheran University High School Cross Country Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

With four of their five scoring runners finishing in the top-13 spots, the Eagles outpaced the field to win the freshman-sophomore varsity 5-kilometer race. Elma scored 63 points, easily outpacing second-place Steilacoom’s 96.

A large field of runners represented schools from nearly every classification in the races, only Elma was able to place a large group of its scoring runners high enough to easily win the team title.

Sophomore Wesley Allen took fourth place at 17:59, with teammate Dylan Bennett fifth at 18:13. Lukas Starks was ninth overall and Kyle Smith was 13th for Elma. Brody Burbidge took 38th place to finish the scoring run for the Eagles — all five runners are sophomores.

“The boys ran really well, so did the girls,” Elma head coach Dave Beeler said. “It was nice to run on an all-grass course. Most of the courses we’ve run (so far) have been pavement. The course was muddy, a bit sloppy. Obviously, we didn’t run as fast as we’ve normally run, but the course was honest.”

In the girls’ junior-senior race, Daphne Peek grabbed the highest individual finish — third overall — at 21:29 for Elma. Sophomore Tahni McGaughy took 23rd place in the girls’ frosh-soph race.

North Beach was also at the meet, led by Kasey Hearn’s 28th place finish in the girls’ junior-senior race.