PASCO – The crowd roar grew as the runners approached the final mile, and from the finish line, spectators waited for a glimpse of the race leaders. As the heads popped over the hill, and the jerseys became visible, there was only one color—Columbia blue. Three tides—Logan Carroll, Wolfgang Beck, and Tristan Peloquin led the entire state field, finishing 1-2-3, respectively, leading Gig Harbor to a state championship with 37 points. Senior Mahmoud Moussa finished in ninth. The runner up, Redmond, wasn’t even close, tallying 119 points. Logan Carroll edged out teammate Beck for the individual state title in the final stretch, clocking in at 15:06.37.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Carroll said. “I was able to run the race that I wanted to. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of doing, coming down the final stretch and be able to out-kick someone. I don’t really know how to describe it.”
Beck entered as the favorite, ranked eighth in the nation individually, and led nearly the entire race, but it was Carroll who claimed the spotlight on Saturday. While it can sometimes create tension competing fiercely against teammates, Carroll said there is nothing but respect between the two.
“At the end, Wolf came over to me and said, ‘Hey, great job.’ And I told him, ‘Hey, I’m sorry for taking that from you.’ He told me, ‘I’m not mad at all, great job man.’ Everyone wants everyone to run well, which is really cool. There’s no bashing of heads.”
Carroll knew it would be a tall order beating Beck, who has been phenomenal this season. To do so, Carroll would have to keep pace with the front of the pack, and out-kick him at the end, which he did.
“Wolfgang, he’s a super talented guy, and I don’t know if he had the best day today,” Carroll said. “I know he was super tired at the end. I just wanted to keep him a little closer in my sight, and then if I had the chance, just move past him at the end. That’s what I was able to do. It’s kind of surreal.”
Whether Beck or Carroll finished in first was almost irrelevant, as winning state was the team’s main goal.
“It was great to get the team win,” Moussa said. “That’s been one of our goals the whole season, to take care of state. It’s just great to finally win.”
Brenna Peloquin came in fourth place overall with a time of 18:06.95, leading the Tides to an 11th place state finish. She was in position to take third in the final stretch, but was just barely edged out by Union’s Alexis Fuller.
“She was right with me, and I knew that she’s a pretty good kicker, so I needed to start earlier than her, she can kick faster than me,” Peloquin said. “I just started kicking it, and I couldn’t maintain it, and she kicked and she just passed me at the end.”
Still, Peloquin was pleased with her race, as she had her sights set on a top five finish.
“Obviously I would’ve wanted third, but I’m so happy with my race,” Peloquin said. “That’s all I could give, and that’s all I can be happy with. At the end of the race, I couldn’t have given any more.”
Head coach Mark Wieczorek said Peloquin ran a perfect race.
“She ran smart, she executed the plan,” he said. “We knew that the front two girls were going to get out and get after it, and she just sat right there with those two girls. I said, ‘We’re racing to get third today.’ That’s our goal, we kind of scouted it out today, we knew that’s where she was. She hung in tough and ran a perfect race today.”
The rest of the team wasn’t quite as dominant as Peloquin, but they ran well. Miranda Nelson, Riley Paul, and Mackenzie Nelson finished 2-3-4 for the Tides, and all ran under 20 minutes.
“That’s a great time, a great accomplishment for them,” Wieczorek said. “They’re all young, all sophomores and freshmen, so that’s super great for our girls. I think that was the best race we’ve run all year, and I was super proud of them and I think they ran great today.”