TYLER HEMSTREET

In just his second race of the high school cross country season, Central Kitsap’s Shane Moskowitz further strengthened his case as a state championship contender. The Oklahoma State-bound senior won the boys varsity race Saturday afternoon at the Fort Steilacoom Invitational, shattering the 3.2-mile Fort Steilacoom Park course record with a time of 15 minutes, 9.6 seconds.

Puyallup’s Rob Webster Jr. held the previous record of 15:15.5, set in 2007.

“If he’d won state last year it might be different, but getting second I think really put him more in focus to win state this year,” Central Kitsap coach Mark Ward said of Moskowitz, who finished three seconds behind Redmond’s Mack Young at state last year. “Our focus is state and everything after that is gravy.”

Moskowitz broke from the pack at the one-mile mark and ran away from Tahoma’s Casey Campbell (15:41.0). Auburn Riverside’s Kenny Krotzer (15:44.9) was third, and Liberty’s Eric Bice (15:51) finished fourth.

“After the first mile, I saw (the clock at) 4:50, (Moskowitz) didn’t even look tired,” said Campbell, who set a personal best with his finish. “He just slowly took off. I was like ‘I don’t want to kill myself (trying to keep up).’”

Despite winning the two-mile Bellarmine Invitational last weekend, Moskowitz wasn’t happy with his performance.

“That wasn’t a great race,” he said, “so I was trying to redeem myself here.”

Moskowitz, who didn’t compete in this event last year, also broke his personal best for the course by nearly 15 seconds.

“I thought it was a little slow pace (early on), but I guess the last mile I just kind of pulled it out,” he said. “I told myself if I broke 15:10, I’d be so excited.”

In the girls race, Bonney Lake’s Veronica Stinnett broke away in the third mile and finished in 19:03.8, claiming her first invitational victory, besting her personal record by nearly 30 seconds and surprising even herself.

“I was hoping to win, but I didn’t come here expecting to win,” Stinnett said. “It’s just a big improvement from last year. I don’t even know what my place or time was. It wasn’t memorable.”

Monroe’s Suzanna Ohlsen (19:11.1) finished second, while Peninsula’s Addi Johnson was third (19.28.1).

Tahoma took first place in the girls team standings (58 points), paced by fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place finishes by Hannah Mittelstaedt (19.34.0), Julianna Mock (19.34.6) and Elizabeth Oosterhout (19.36.3), respectively. Shorewood finished second (150), followed by Stadium (154), Auburn Riverside (173) and Lacey’s Northwest Christian (197).

Auburn Riverside won the boys team title (103), and Peninsula (124), Liberty (218), Olympia (236) and Curtis (250) rounded out the top five.

More than 50 schools and 1,600 runners from Washington and Oregon participated in the meet.