Girls Cross Country Wins First State Championship in the History of CKHS

An expected first place win earned through hard work and determination by a close knit team at Central Kitsap High School.


by Kylie G. Martin, Reporter

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, WA, the Central Kitsap Girls Cross Country team won the first State Championship in school history. The assistant Coach for the last two years, Samuel Cook, has a small note on the event. 

“Really good improvement…and a fantastic season,” said Cook. “They worked really hard and deserved it.” The girls could be found practicing almost everyday around Silverdale and on the school trail. 

Coach Cook goes on to describe his thoughts of the team,

“… a super privilege, just to be able to coach a team that level…I mean, the work they put in…these girls are committed year round, they do track and train over the summer…the commitment in the offseason really paid off to win this season.”

Central Kitsap High School alumni have only won a few state championships in history. The capture of such a prize is a great accomplishment for the school. Coaches and players are now hopeful for the future. 

Coach Cook hopes, “The students and the administration and teachers really appreciate what this is and what this means for the school. I mean, who knows when it will happen again. I hope it happens again next year. All the boys team and all the girls, minus one senior, will be coming back next year…we want to have a consistently high quality team”. 

The head coach of five years, Jeremy Duplissey, is extraordinarily proud of his team. A man who coaches bottom-up built the team for success this year. He was hopeful, expecting it last year, and worked hard to gain what they deserved this season. 

The win was graciously accepted, but attitudes were not changed; first place podium was a privilege. They built there team for strength and progress, not just to win. First place was manifested and achieved by the whole team. The trophy is being held at Central Kitsap High School in the athletic directors office. 

Coach Duplissey describes the experience as, “Kind of surreal, it’s something I sort of saw happening a long time ago. For it to actually come to pass…to see it all play out, is pretty awesome…I don’t ever want an atmosphere where winning defines us…What ever happens, what ever the outcome is, you’re still a champion”. 

All seven of the Central Kitsap girls cross country runners are in the top 50 out of the 195 in the state of Washington, five of them are in the top 30. At the Nike regional meet a week later, the six Pacific NorthWest states competed against each other, the girls cross country team placed sixth out of around 400 teams. 

The athlete that notably locked down the championship title was Claire as she crossed the line first on her team. But more importantly Sally Corder and Eva Huff crossed the line last, being faster than Gig Harbor as the 6/7th and alternate runners, they sealed the win in first place. 

Coach Cook spoke on how this figures; “Our number five was better than other teams three or four. Our number seven was better than other teams number five”. 

A voice on her own, the captain of the team, Catherine Vlach, shared an insightful message for girls to come;

“It’s such a fun experience, an awesome environment…a great way to meet people if you need a group, it’s a really close knit team, give it a chance”. 

As a senior this is Vlach’s last season running for the Central Kitsap High School Cross Country team. Although, she plans to continue running in college. 

Vlach’s last season, as a senior, “…was really awesome. It’s definitely come a long way from my freshman season to senior…it was awesome to se the team evolve over time into a state championship team”. 

Cross country is a competitive activity for those who wish to push themselves and try something new. Considering this team as an early fall sport, in Coach Duplisseys words, means; 

“You find yourself, you find out what you are made of, learn how to push yourself, develop how to work as a team, and you figure out how to strive towards a goal; on our team we have standards, academically too”.