Moskowitz twins dominate cross-country districts

Central Kitsap
Central Kitsap's Shane Moskowitz nears the finish line at Saturday's Westside Classic. Moskowitz won the Class 4A West Central District boys race with a time of 15 minutes, 14.3 seconds and will race for an individual state title Saturday in Pasco.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

The Moskowitz twins are a cross-country stronghold — not just at Central Kitsap High School and the Class 4A Narrows League, but throughout Washington state.

Junior Shane Moskowitz is a state title contender and his sister, Shannon, has emerged of late as a legitimate threat as well.

Shane won the Class 4A West Central District boys race, Shannon placed second in the girls race and the sibling duo left Cougar footprints all over American Lake Golf Course at the Westside Classic Nov. 1.

"I am very happy with the results of both the boys and girls team," coach John Emery said.

Shane, who has won every 2008 race in which he's competed, ran a course-best time of 15 minutes, 14.3 seconds to capture the individual title and help the CK boys team to a fifth place overall finish and a berth to Saturday's state championships in Pasco.

"He ran like he should," Emery said. "He's either going to be No. 1 (at state) or right up there in the very front if he isn't, it just depends on the day."

Second-place finisher Julian-Blake Cowan, of Auburn Riverside, logged a time of 15:33.1, nearly 20 seconds behind Moskowitz. Gig Harbor junior Conner Peloquin finished a close third (15:33.7).

Individually, there may be no faster runner in Washington than Shane, whose closest race of the year was the Fort Warden Invite where he edged Port Townsend's Quinton Decker by 2.18 seconds in the 3-mile boys race.

And with state looming, Shane is excited to learn how he stacks up against Washington's fastest runners, many of whom he's never competed against. He would be Central Kitsap's first individual cross-country state champion with a win.

"Everybody is trying to get first, so it's going to be super fast," he said.

The state race is at Sun Willows Golf Course, a difficult, rolling course that begins with an incline. Most of CK's runners who will race at state haven't before seen the course.

"It constantly rolls along," Emery said. "Nothing really steep after the first incline, but not too much of it is perfectly level. It tends to wear runners down."

"It's really, really hard going up and down those hills," added Shane, who finished ninth on the same course at state last year.

But only two of the eight runners who beat Shane in 2007 — then-junior Kevin Rosaaenare, of Woodrow Wilson, and then-sophomore Mitchell Briggs, of Henry Jackson — return to state this year.

"He has a very, very good chance of winning," Emery said.

Shannon, meanwhile, earned a gritty second-place individual finish after holding off Curtis' Chloe Treleven in the final yards of the girls race. Shannon, who finished well behind first-place Alyssa Andrews (17:45.5, Gig Harbor), finished with a time of 18:29.4, a shoulder ahead of Treleven (18:29.9).

"That was nice," Emery said of Shannon. "She did everything that I've asked her to and did very well."

Shannon nearly slipped to third after Treleven closed the gap over the final few yards but recovered in time to salvage the second-place finish.

"It was probably the hardest race I've ever ran, those girls pushed a good pace the whole time," Shannon said. "It was exciting, I was really happy with (second place), that was my goal."

As a team, however, the girls missed a state bid by one spot, finishing in seventh place with 169 points, 16 points behind sixth-place Bellarmine Prep (153). The top six Class 4A girls' teams advanced, with Gig Harbor taking first with 52 points, followed by Tahoma (96), Curtis (139), Olympia (151) and Thomas Jefferson (152).

"Even though the girls didn't quite make it, everybody gave it their best shot," Emery said.

Senior Tori Johansen, who broke her personal record by 41 seconds Saturday and also will race at state, finished in eighth place (19:05.1) to give the Lady Cougars two top-10 finishers. But sophomore Gee Mi Jorde (44th place) was the only other CK girl to finish in the top 50, accounting for the point difference with Bellarmine, which had five runners finish in the top 50.

"It's just a matter of trickle down from there," Emery said.

But the Shane-led boys team, which finished 13th at state last year, qualified again by virtue of its fifth-place, 158-point finish Saturday. Tahoma (70 points), Gig Harbor (91), Auburn Riverside (107) and Olympia (140) rounded out the top five.

Zackery Weber, Michael Thorsen, Andrew Thorsen, John Mackovjak, Chas Sperry, Mark Zylstra and Brandon Carlson join Shane on the state roster, with Andrew Thorsen and Carlson being alternates. A combined 1,500 athletes and 225 schools are expected to race at state.

"They are excited, now it's just a matter of staying focused and doing the best they can," Emery said.

Races begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The Class 4A boys race is the day's last event and begins at 2:30 p.m.

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