Colville cross country's Alaina Stone builds early season momentum

Taylor Newquist
Sports Editor

Colville cross country’s Alaina Stone has already established herself as one of the top distance runners in the state, and now that she has the ball rolling in her senior year, the only question is how far she’s willing to go.
Stone took first place at the 45-team Nike Battle for the 509 in Cheney last weekend, beating out 284 competitors with a time of 18:02.92 minutes in the girls 5K. Just a week before at the Highlander Invite in Shadle Park, Stone finished in second place by 0.14 seconds in the girls 2.5-miles. For Stone, close doesn’t cut it.
“I was bummed out,” Stone said about finishing second in the Highlander Invite. “Her and I both worked our butts off in that race, but she just did it smarter.”
That second place finish may have been just what she needed, as her time at the Battle for the 509 was a personal best by about 19 seconds. As things stand, she has the second fastest 5K time in the state for any classification. The only girl ahead of her is fellow 1A senior Naomi Smith from King’s Schools.
Smith won last year’s 1A state championship, with Stone 11 seconds behind her in second. In all likelihood, the two will duel it out again this year and Stone is focused on taking a step up the podium.
“I thought when I went out there and was ahead, I didn’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing,” Stone said about last year’s state championship race. “It ended up being a bad thing. I just couldn’t hang out with her I guess, but I’m working on changing that this year.”

Read more of this story in the Sept. 25 issue of the Statesman-Examiner.