19 local runners qualify for national meet

Seventeen members of the Whidbey Island Running Club and two local runners competing for the Federal Way Track Club qualified for the national Junior Olympic cross country meet with strong showings at the regional competition Saturday, Nov. 20, in Oregon City, Ore.

The national meet is slated for Dec. 11 in Hoover, Ala.

The regional meet was contested on a course pelted by rain throughout the week. WIRC coach Catie Rodeheffer said, "I have never seen a muddier course...the course was a virtual Slip N Slide."

The top 20 finishers and top three teams in each category qualified for nationals, except the sub-bantams who do not advance beyond regional.

Both teams the WIRC sent to regional earned national trips.

The midget girls (11-12) placed second even though top runner Kat Copeland was sick and ran just to qualify for nationals. Sophie Cantine, 11, led the way by winning the 3,000-meter race of 83 girls with a time of 12:10. She was followed by Laura Rodeheffer, 11 (eighth, 12:24); Ariel Wilhite, 11 (12th, 12:25); Kaitlyn Chelberg, 11 (20th, 12:44); Copeland, 11 (27th, 13:10); Carolyn Wicker, 11 (39th, 13:38); Carly Crowther, 12 (69th, 14:42); and Brenna Grehan, 12 (78th, 15:20).

WIRC finished with 60 points, five behind Bowerman Athletic Club.

The WIRC youth boys (13-14) took third. John Rodeheffer, 14 (13:50), was third in the 4,000-meter race with 73 participants. Next were Gavin Stewart, 14 (16th, 14:27); Dakota Powers, 13 (17th, 14:28); Cole Zink, 14 (33rd, 15:07); and Mark Johnston, 14 (61st, 16:30).

Other WIRC runners who qualified were Ryan Vasileff, 10 (ninth, bantam boys, 3,000 meters, 12:52); Logan Clark, 12 (18th, midget boys, 3,000 meters, 12:03); Caley Powers, 15 (12th, intermediate boys, 5,000 meters, time not available); and Christina Wicker, 15 (second, intermediate girls, 5,000 meters, 21:21).

The local club qualified five for nationals last year and two in 2008, WIRC's first year.

Oak Harbor's Allison Duvenez (third, 20:38) and Adrianna Royal (fourth, 20:39) qualified for the national meet while running for the Federal Way Track Club in the young women (17-18) division.

Other WIRC participants: sub-bantam boys - Justin Vasileff, 8 (second, 10:37); midget boys - Adam Nelson, 11 (25th, 12:17), Miguel Guzman, 12 (52nd, 13:30), Caleb Thompson, 12 (60th, 14:05); sub-bantam girls - Catherine Wicker, 8 (sixth, 10:14), Emily Lamb, 7 (10th, 11:36); bantam girls - Megan Keating, 10 (23rd, 14:47); youth girls - Jonalynn Horn, 13 (54th, 18:10).

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