Moskowitz captures league title, handily

LAKEWOOD — It would be easy enough to dismiss it as just another meet for Central Kitsap senior Shane Moskowitz.

After all, Moskowitz won the Narrows League and West Central District championships in cross country last year and followed that with titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races in track during the spring.

While he did not win another state title at Wednesday’s league championships at Fort Steilacoom Park, Moskowitz set the meet record in the 5-kilometer boys run in 15 minutes, 5.41 seconds.

He said he adjusted his strategy after last season when he placed second in the Class 4A state cross-country championship in Pasco. Moskowitz finished in 15:21, 3 seconds behind Redmond junior Mack Young.

Instead of competing in several events as he has done in the past, Moskowitz was involved with just a few runs this fall. The league meet marked only the fifth run he has competed this fall.

“When I really go all out, I have been really happy,” said Moskowitz, who has verbally committed to run next year at Oklahoma State University. “Hopefully I’ll improve on that at districts because it’s a little faster course. Maybe break 15 — I’ll cross my fingers.”

Central coach Mark Ward said it takes more than talent to make a runner as good as Moskowitz.

“He’s got great genetics,” he said. “He’s got endurance and he runs pace better than anyone I’ve ever coached. And he loves it.”

The top 30 individual boys and girls from league qualified for the Oct. 31 West Central District meet at American Lake Golf Course. On the boys side, junior Zackery Weber (16:29.14, sixth) and John Mackovjak (17:18.91, 28th) and sophomore Michael Thorsen (16:35.82, eighth) met those parameters for the Cougars.

But they will be joined by the rest of their teammates at districts because Central finished in the top six in the standings. The Cougars placed third with 77 points, behind Gig Harbor (37) and Bellarmine Prep (64).

Their girls team also advanced to districts by placing fifth with 122 points. The Tides swept the team competition by winning with 35 points.

Central’s top placer was senior Shannon Moskowitz, who placed third in 19:05.86. She was behind Olympia senior Clare Kane (18:13.78) and Gig Harbor junior Maureen Tremblay (18:24.8).

“I’m just having a tough season,” said Moskowitz, who is considering Boise State and OSU. “I didn’t put in as much summer training as I should’ve because I was looking toward being serious for the whole season. Where am I going to train to make up for the summer? It’s a big lesson I’ve learned.”

Moskowitz said she is just beginning to feel healthy again. She missed the early portion of the season with an injured arch in her left foot and then was sidelined with a burst ovary. Moskowitz, who also had an iron deficiency issue, said she only has been able to run for three weeks.

“If I start going downhill, I probably will take the rest of the season off,” she said. “It was disappointing at the beginning of the season. I was so depressed.”

Moskowitz said she is much happier after her performance.

“It’s not the placing with me, it’s the time,” she said. “I could barely get under 20 minutes (before). I’m progressing.”

The other top-30 placer for the Cougars was junior Gee Mi Jorde, who finished 10th in 19:31.48.

“She ran a great race,” Ward said. “I’ve never seen her run better.”

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