Jackson’s Skoog siblings prepare for postseason run | Cross country
Last updated 10/19/2018 at Noon
Jackson tuned up for this week’s Wesco championships with strong runs at the annual Everett-Mukilteo Clash Thursday, Oct. 11, at McCollum Park.
Wolfpack senior Joseph Skoog took first place to help lead the Everett School District boys team (Jackson/Cascade) to a team victory over Mukilteo (Kamiak/Mariner).
Skoog clocked in at 16 minutes, 4 seconds, pulling away from Kamiak’s Carp Mukai, who finished second in 16:08. Jackson’s Brenden Charbeneau finished fourth (16:15). Teammates Kane Borgal, Jordan Hansen, Shane Grossman and Joshua Ramos placed sixth through ninth. Everett scored 26 points and Mukilteo finished with 33.
“It was a fun race. It was hard with Carp,” Skoog said.
The two switched off leading the pack with the Jackson senior pulling away in the last 500 yards.
Skoog, who placed 41st at last year’s 4A championships, said he has approached this year differently.
“The season is going well. I’m not running the same as I ran last cross country season,” Skoog said. “I think that’s because I’m trying to shift my mind. These are my last races as a high schooler, so I really want to run well at the state meet,”
The Jackson standout added that he’s had what he described as some major hiccups at the district meet that have affected his performances at state.
“I’m hoping this year is going to be a good mental race for me,” Skoog said.
Skoog has run in a number of invitationals in preparation for state. Skoog most recently finished sixth and set a personal record at the Richland Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 6.
“I’ve had a lot of stepping stone races,” Skoog said. “So I’m hoping everything clicks the way I want it to at the right race, which is state.”
Jackson coach Eric Hruschka agrees that Skoog has prepared himself well.
“He really has been gearing toward the biggest meets,” Hruschka said. “He ran very well at Richland. He improved quite a bit from two years ago when he ran there. If we can see the same kind of thing going into the state meet, he has a good chance to get on the podium and win one of those top medals in the state meet.”
Sophomore Charbeneau has emerged as a surprising No. 2 for the Timberwolves. He’s finished second in each of the last five weeks.
“He really has taken over the No. 2 spot,” Hruschka said. “The guys are really balanced. Really deep.”
Skoog also is optimistic.
“I think a trophy at the state meet, which is fourth, is very possible,” he said.
Skoog’s younger sister, Anna, placed third behind Kamiak’s Alisha Anderson and Leah Clark. Anderson finished in 19:23 with Clark right behind her in 19:25. Anna Skoog clocked in at 19:35.
Jackson’s Briana Heng was fifth, Allyson Kim was sixth and Emma Atkinson was eighth.
Anna Skoog finished 12th at last year’s state meet and Hruschka is hoping for a repeat performance.
“She’s ahead in every meet she’s done so far compared to last year,” Hruschka said of Skoog. “Replicating something like that last year would be really fun.”
Anna Skoog was satisfied with her third-place finish against the two Knight seniors.
“The Kamiak girls are really tough. They are good competition,” Anna Skoog said. “I’ve been happy with my races. They haven’t been super good, but they haven’t been super bad. Usually you want to crank it up toward the last part of the season. I think I’m right where I need to be.”
Mukilteo defeated Everett 25 to 31 in the girls team competition.
The Wesco championships are set for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, at Lakewood High School. The District meet is 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at South Whidbey High School.