Langley, WA - Pope John Paul II boys cross country team had four runners finish in the top seven as the Eagles won the schools first ever District 1 team title yesterday, Oct. 27, at South Whidbey High School and are advancing to the 1B/2B State Championships.
In cross country, a perfect score is a total of 15 points. To accomplish this, all five runners from the same team need to finish first through fifth.
The Eagles scored 20 points taking first place over Mount Vernon Christian, who scored 39 points.
Kobe and Caden Deutscher from Pope John Paul II placed first and second in times of 17:12.72 and 17:20.96.
Kobe, the younger brother of the Deutschers, has never beaten his older brother Caden before in a race. Kobe says his speed got his older brother at the end.
"All of the races before (Caden) has beaten me," said Kobe while smirking at his brother. "I was hoping since this course had a downhill the last mile, I was thinking I could get him since I am more of a shorter distance runner."
Kobe would eventually pass his brother with half a mile to go. Caden was happy though how well his younger brother ran and knows it will be a good confidence booster for him.
"Once we hit the downhill, I knew (Kobe) was going to finish better than me since we had less than a mile to go. He really got me there." said Caden in a joking way.
Joining the Deutschers brothers to state are teammates Mattox Marsh (4th, 18:09.67), Jaden Morton (6th, 18:32.43), Brendan Perez (9th, 18:41.97), Jacob Braun (10th, 19:03.36), and Sean Foley (11th, 19:18:51).
First year head coach Larry Weber knows this was going to be a tough challenge to qualify to state since only one team could go. Weber said the kids were nervous but that didn't appear to be an issue.
"They are really excited to go to state," said Weber. "The boys did feel the pressure of how only one team will go, but they really responded well and ran great."
This isn't the first time Pope John Paul II has sent a group to state. This years team planted one word into their program that most schools have a hard time establishing.
"The key word is belief. You can have all the physical training in the world, but that can only take you so far. Being a Catholic school, having that faith to do your best helps a ton. They all work hard."
For those that don't know this, former Power Forward in the National Basketball Association, Kevin Garnett, said 'anything is possible' after winning his first championship with the Celtics back in 2008. Weber preached that same message all season long to his boys.
"All things are possible I tell them. We work a lot on the mental side of things and let them know they can run with anyone. I'm excited for next week to get here."
Mount Vernon Christian's Jonathan Brown and Joshua Gerrish finished third and seventh for the Hurricanes and will move on to state.
Also moving on to state is Orcas Island's Jaydon Krisch as he placed fifth overall.
The 1B/2B boys state race will be at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco Washington Saturday, Nov. 3, starting at 11:30 a.m..