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FILE PHOTO — Yelm junior Bryce Cerkowniak leads the pack by a lengthy margin in this photo taken during the league championships last month. 

The Tornados will make a return to state competition this weekend after clinching a fourth-place finish Saturday, Nov. 2, at the West Central Districts Cross Country Championships at Chambers Bay.

Yelm junior Bryce Cerkowniak placed first among the 128 3A runners who set foot on the course, finishing in 15 minutes and 57 seconds.

Junior Kelan Herness (17:05) placed 24th, sophomore Ryan Lange (17:08) finished 33rd, sophomore Ethan Coon (17:29) finished 43rd, senior Jacob Barnert (17:40) finished 52nd, senior Logan Faber (19:29) finished 120th and sophomore Calum Thornhill (19:56) finished 124th.

No personal records were set.

Head boys coach Alex McIntire said his team’s district performance was probably the weakest they’ve had so far.

“It’s not a surprise ‘cause we trained hard through last week,” he said. “It was nice to know that after training hard and on our worst day, we could qualify for state.”

McIntire said he’s hoping that last-minute training that led up to districts will help give his boys enough confidence to place in the top four this Saturday.

The Tornados will take seven boys to state, with alternates Luke Martin and Luke McKinney tagging along for good measure.

The 3A State Championships will take place Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

Despite sending three to districts, none of the Yelm girls were able to clinch a top-35 finish to qualify individually at state.

Freshman Gabriella Willadsen finished 43rd with a personal record of 21:31, Junior Kya Ramirez finished 66th with a time of 22:20, and sophomore Kaylee Faber finished 96th at 24:09.

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