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Originally published Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM

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Bellevue, Liberty win KingCo 3A cross country titles

The Bellevue boys cross country team continued its KingCo 3A dynasty Thursday, winning its fourth conference championship in as many years...

Special to The Seattle Times

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ISSAQUAH — The Bellevue boys cross country team continued its KingCo 3A dynasty Thursday, winning its fourth conference championship in as many years.

Senior Spike Sievert was third with a time of 16 minutes, 20 seconds, but the Wolverines won with depth as they had four runners finish in 11th through 14th place.

Sievert finished 38th at state last year, the best of any Bellevue returner. Coach John Hill said this has been Sievert's team.

"Spike's an amazing guy, just because he's never not been part of a championship team here at Bellevue High School," he said. "He's a senior and he's been our athletic leader, and certainly the leader by example just by his hard work."

Bellevue had 53 points, with second-place Interlake at 75. The top four teams and the top 20 individuals advances to districts next week, with Mercer Island (83 points) and Liberty (114) also qualifying.

Liberty won the girls race and Sammamish sophomore Pascale De Sa E Silva won the individual title.

The Bellevue boys reaffirmed their confidence before facing a talented field next week.

"Nathan Hale and Seattle Prep are both pretty awesome boys' teams," Hill said. "I think this [win] gives Bellevue guys some confidence that they're coming out of our conference as champions and there's no reason they shouldn't be able to do what you have to do to make it to the state championships."

Lake Washington's Devon Grove won the race, finishing in 15:59. He took an early lead and never relinquishing it.

"I don't have a whole lot of faith in my kick and I've never been a strong finisher," Grove said. "I figured if I was going to go for it today, I'd have to go early."

In addition to Sievert, Grove beat Interlake's Sam Giner, who was second. The three are all friends, Giner said, but when a meet starts, a healthy rivalry begins.

"We're all super good friends and we all know each other really well," he said. "But at the same time it's really intense, because we're all trying to get that top spot, and we all want to be the number one guy in KingCo."

Being the runner-up last year was motivation for De Sa E Silva, and she won in 19:07.

De Sa E Silva was happy with her finish and the fact it didn't start raining until after the race.

"This is pretty close to perfect weather for racing," she said.

Liberty dominated the race with 40 points. Megan Chucka, Allie Wood, and Sarah Bliesner were second, fourth, and ninth, respectively, for the Patriots.

Mercer Island was second at 68, followed Interlake (74) and Bellevue (89).

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