Seamount Girls / Cross-Country Championships -- Lindbergh Girls Run To League Title

SEATTLE - It was not a postcard-type afternoon. There was a slight drizzle. There was wind. A flash of lightning echoed the start of the race.

Bad weather? Jenni Nelson barely noticed.

The Hazen junior cruised to the individual title in yesterday's Seamount League cross-country meet at Lower Woodland Park, finishing 32 seconds ahead of teammate Stephanie Davidson.

Lindbergh, running without one of its top runners, outpointed Mount Rainier 42-56 to grab the team title. Hazen, Kennedy, Evergreen and Mount Si also advanced to next week's Sea-King District meet.

Nelson, who played soccer her freshman and sophomore years, finished the 3.1-mile run in 19 minutes, 54 seconds, well ahead of Davidson's 20:26. Lindbergh's Sarah Gagnier was the only other runner to finish in less than 21 minutes.

Nelson came into the race as the favorite, which was fine with her. "I kind of like the recognition," she said.

She wasn't about to let the conditions affect her performance. "The wind hit us every time as we started up the hill, but we did what we wanted to do - finish one-two."

Davidson was the only runner who kept pace with Nelson in the early going. The two Highlanders led the field after the first lap and remained even after two laps before Nelson pulled away. "She's had a bad ankle the last couple weeks," Nelson said of her senior teammate. "We started up the hill into the woods, I turned around and she was falling back."

Davidson finished nine seconds ahead of Lindbergh's Gagnier, who led the Eagles to the team championship.

Lindbergh finished undefeated during the Seamount dual-meet season but ran without all-league performer Heidi Swift, who had the flu.

Seniors Kelly and Chase Gregory came home a surprising fifth and eighth while Vivian Keeney finished 11th for Lindbergh.

Michele and Samantha Braun finished ninth and 10th, respectively, for the Rams. Carrie Bergin (13th), Tara Gauthier (14th) and Alena Schlumpf (15th) rounded out Mount Rainier's top five.