Still gasping for air and feeling the effects of an afternoon running through Lower Woodland Park, Kate Wilson inquired about the success of her younger teammates.
"Did you break 19?" Wilson asked, directing her question toward sophomore Ann Ramsey who had been pursuing the 19-minute mark obtained by just three runners.
Ramsey's answer was a depressed "No," despite her winning a second Sea-King District title and leading the Lakeside Lions to a district championship.
Ramsey and Wilson were dejected momentarily before freshman Asha Dean blurted, "I got 19:39." The two older Lions looked at each other in amazement.
"It's going to be interesting to see this team next year," Wilson said. "The freshmen on this team are incredible. They all are. When they get older it's going to be scary."
Ramsey and Dean own the fourth and seventh best times on the course, respectively. Not far behind is freshman Emily Cunningham who ran a career-best 21:11 yesterday.
Sandwiched between the younger Lion runners were seniors Kristin Proctor, who finished eighth, and Wilson, who was sixth. Lakeside tallied 32 points, far outdistancing runner-up Lindbergh, which scored 96.
Also earning Class AA state berths were Blanchet (104 points), Seattle Prep (106) and Garfield (130).
Ramsey's winning time of 19:11 was nearly identical to her 19:10 at last week's Metro meet. Her career best at Lower Woodland is 19:10, which she first ran at last year's Metro meet.
"It's kind of shocking to run that three times in a row," Ramsey said. "I guess that's my lucky number. Someday I really would like to break 19."
The conditions were nearly perfect yesterday. The weather was crisp, cool and slightly breezy.
During the first mile, Ramsey was pushed by Hazen junior Jenni Nelson, the Seamount League champion. The two led a pack of five runners into the hill portion of Lower Woodland.
"When I hit the hills, I lost it," Nelson said. "The first (hill) wasn't that bad, but there was no recovery before the second one."
Nelson's demise allowed Roosevelt sophomore Elizabeth Roller and Dean to slip past her.
Roller held a slight lead over Dean at the 2-mile mark and held onto second place. Dean finished third, Nelson fourth and Hazen senior Stephanie Davidson fifth.
Lindbergh's top finisher was Sarah Gagnier at 10th place. Ann Alokolaro ran to 14th place for Blanchet, Seattle Prep was led by Amanda Frederick's seventh-place performance and Jasmine Jackson placed ninth for Garfield.
Girls who qualified for the state meet in Pasco but who will not run with a team are Kennedy senior Laura Lewis, Renton junior Chau Truong, Highline junior Kitty Rasmussen, Franklin senior Sara Reynolds and Mount Rainier junior Samantha Braun.
ISSAQUAH - Cascade's Steve Glass, last week's Western AAA Conference champion, won the boys race, overtaking Edmonds'Woodway's Ryan Osmondson in the final 100 yards to finish in 15:11.
In the girls race, Oak Harbor senior Debra Vaughn won in 18:24, beating second-place Crystal Malgesini of Snohomish by 30 yards.
Newport High School's boys and girls teams qualified for the state meet.
Newport qualified its boys and girls teams, the first time it has done so in the 19-year history of the state meet. Newport was the only KingCo Conference school to qualify both teams this year.
Newport boys finished 4-17-20-26-31.
The Newport girls didn't have a runner in the top 16 but also didn't have one who finished below 35th as they finished fourth in the team standings to earn their first team berth to state since 1979. Kate Centerwall led the Knights with a 17th-place finish (19:11).