WIRC to send 7 to national cross country meet

WIRC's Christina Wicker, center, runs with the pack in the Junior Olympic cross country championships last weekend. Wicker went on to win the race and earn spot in the national title race.
— image credit: Photo by Bill Rodeheffer

Seven Whidbey Island Running Club athletes earned slots in the national Junior Olympic cross country championships set for Dec. 10 in Myrtle Creek, S.C.

The local runners advanced to the championships by placing in the top 20 in their divisions at the regional finals at Seattle's Lower Woodland Park Saturday, Nov. 19.

Christina Wicker won the intermediate girls (15/16) division by covering 5,000 meters in 20:37.

Coach Catie Rodeheffer said Wicker "put on a serge" with one mile to go to catch the leaders and then pulled into the lead for a 10-second win. Wicker was awarded the WIRC Runner of the Meet honor for her first-place effort.

John Rodeheffer ran 17:11 to take second in intermediate boys.

Laura Rodeheffer placed 18th in the 3,000-meter midget girls (11/12) race in 12:16.

This was the inaugural year for the sub-bantam division (7/8) and only 20 girls and 16 boys competed, therefore all qualified for nationals. Regardless, coach Rodeheffer said the WIRC athletes "ran strong and competitively, showing great improvement from last week."

Girls qualifying from the 2,000-meter race were Jaida Mason (sixth, 9:42), Emily Lamb (17th, 10:54) and Jordyn Lovett (18th, 11:11).

Lovett, who trimmed over a minute off her previous best time, was awarded Most Improved by coach Rodeheffer.

Harrison Keating was eighth in the boys race in 9:16.

Ryan Vasileff missed grabbing a national berth by 12 seconds in the midget boys race (28th, 11:42). He received an Outstanding Performance Award from coach Rodeheffer.

Other WIRC results from the regional finals:

Bantam girls (9/10), 3,000 meters: 38, Catherine Wicker, 15:09; 44, Altanie Hansen, 17:07.

Bantam boys: Micah Thompson, 14:41.Midget girls: 25, Kaitlyn Chelberg, 12:31; 43, Addie Hansen, 13:06.18; 44, Carolyn Wicker, 13:06.38; 55, Megan Keating, 13:39.

Youth girls (13/14), 4,000 meters: 35, Mallorie Mitchem, 17:12.

Youth boys: 29, Logan Clark, 15:09; 42, Joel Erickson, 15:38; 44, Dakota Powers, 15:39; 48, Caleb Thompson, 15:57; 55, Miguel Guzman, 16:15; 71, Joey Jepsen, 19:17.


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