Joe Waskom thought about it every day for the last two weeks.
After Woodinville’s Luke Houser leaned past Mount Si’s Waskom by six-thousandths of a second to win the 4A KingCo cross country championship meet on Oct. 18 (they both ran 15:17.32 in the camera-timed 5K race), the Wildcat was going to change that scenario.
“I knew that wasn’t going to happen again,” he laughed.
On Saturday, Waskom ruled the 4A cross country field and took first with a time of 15:16.20 at the state meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
Eisenhower’s Jonas Price was second in 15:17.10. Houser took sixth in 15:34.40.
Waskom, a senior, is the school’s first-ever state cross country champion.
“My coach told me that yesterday and it got me a little motivated before the race, so it was definitely something to shoot for,” Waskom said.
“It was the smartest cross country race I have ever seen him run. We had a plan. He followed it,” coach Sean Sundwall said.
Waskom said with whipping winds on the course, he and Sundwall discussed the runner staying within the top five through the first mile, keeping up with the leaders as they hit the two-mile mark — and then try and make a move.
“Me and this one kid, we were going down the final stretch and I just had enough to outkick him in the final 100 meters,” Waskom said of Price during one of the Wildcat’s most strategical races ever. It wasn’t a PR, but it didn’t matter.
“I knew that the time would be secondary to how I would place and I just really wanted to go and finally get that state championship,” said Waskom, who qualified for state all four years at Mount Si, finishing third as a sophomore and 10th due to some breathing issues last year.
It was an amazing feeling seeing the clock ticking off his top time as he crossed the finish line, he said.
Running has changed Waskom’s life.
“My teammates are great, running is just so enjoyable and we have laughs and share memories during our runs. It’s such a great atmosphere to be a part of,” he said.
What was he going to do on Sunday afternoon? Go for a run, of course, to prepare for next weekend’s Nike Cross-Regionals Northwest meet.
“Keep it going,” he said.