I found no specific mention of him as part of a running team, but believe he and the team were associated with the Order of the Runeberg Society, which had various lodges or clubs throughout Washington. I found numerous newspaper articles about the Order of the Runeberg singing groups and contests as well as basketball teams. This article does mention races:
[Tacoma Times 4 Aug 1939]
I also found Axel's naturalization papers, if you need that information.
Thank you! I remember going to the Olympia Ruenberg with my grandparents at Christmas time and eating many dinners, polka dancing and playing St Lucia. I would love copies of his naturalization papers!