Wildcats win at 3-Course Challenge | Cross Country
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
September 26, 2011 · Updated 11:51 AM
Both the Oak Harbor High School boys and girls cross country teams won their divisions in the 22nd annual Three Course Challenge at Fort Rilea in Seaside, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 24.
The Wildcats boys not only won the 12-team Division 1 (largest schools) race, it posted the best score (148) among the 79 schools from three states who competed across five divisions.
The Wildcat girls (115) dominated the 13-team Division 1 race and finished second overall to Burlington (99). Kentridge finished second in both the boys (173) and girls (312) Division 1 races.
At the Challenge, runners from each school are split among three 4,500-meter courses: easy, moderate and hard. The courses run over grass, trail, sand and rolling hills; and the two tougher tracks include a mud pit.
The top two finishers in the easy and moderate races and the top three from the hard course determine each school's team score.
Christina Wicker posted the best individual finish for Oak Harbor by winning the girls hard race of 57 runners in 23:48.
Coach Eric Peterson said Wicker "ran away from the pack with 600 meters to go." He added, "She looked smooth, relaxed and confident during the race. She ran a great race on a tough course."
John Rodeheffer (boys moderate, 18:45) and Jonalynn Horn (girls easy, 19:51) placed second in their respective races.
In addition to Rodeheffer, boys who scored for Oak Harbor were Matt Reith (fourth, hard, 20:15), Joshua Schrum (sixth, hard, 21:02), Dakota Powers (seventh, easy, 16:40), John Kaltenbach (seventh, hard, 21:08), Caley Powers (11th, easy, 17:06) and Esai Cunningham (15th, moderate, 21:12).
Tallying for the girls along with Wicker and Horn were Hannah Bressler (third, moderate, 23:38), Ashley Everett (fourth, easy, 20:18), Taylor VonGrey (fifth, moderate, 25:01), Alexandra Laiblin (seventh, hard, 25:59) and Heather Dale (eighth, hard, 26:07).
Oak Harbor also received top-10 performances from Carlie Kenny (seventh, girls moderate, 25:34) and Mackenzie Jackson (fifth, girls easy, 20:29).
The Wildcats travel to Lake Stevens Thursday, Sept. 29, at 3:45 for a five-team meet along with Edmonds-Woodway, Everett and Glacier Peak.
Other Wildcats results at the Three Course Challenge:
Boys easy (71 runners): 20, Alexander Krantz, 18:13; 21, Nathan Wagner, 18:14; 25, Gunnar Melnick, 18:32; 26, Chris Opdyke, 18:45.
Boys moderate (97): 16, Stephen Miller, 21:30; 17, Clayton Richardson, 21:30; 23, Isaac Matthews, 21:45; 30, Wyatt Homola, 22:15; 33, Patrick Mayer, 22:38; 38, Joel Erickson, 23:01; 51, Brendan Bristow, 23:45; 57, Ryuta Meany, 24:22; 90, Stacy Jappert, 28:16.
Boys hard (79): 28, Adriel Eckart, 23:35.
Girls easy (69): 27, Nikki Blanchard, 23:46; 30 Stacy Meyer, 24:21; 49, Emily Saar, 26:53; 52, Sophie Rath, 27:20; 53, Alexa Holmly, 27:45; 56, Grace Pauley, 28:13.
Girls hard (57): 18, Rachel Crowther, 28:19.Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.