Strong individual performances lead Wildcats | Cross country
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
September 10, 2012 · Updated 4:56 PM
The Oak Harbor High School cross country teams opened the season at the third annual Sehome Invitational in Bellingham Saturday, Sept. 8, where the boys finished eighth and the girls 13th in a field of over 30 teams.
Runners competed in two-mile races divided by classes, and the top finisher in each class and the next two best results overall determined team scores.
The boys picked up 118 points; Sehome won with 48. The Wildcat girls scored 115 as Glacier Peak won with 22.
Coach Eric Peterson said, "We feel really good about the individual results…The kids showed a lot of improvement from last year and we were very pleased with how the new runners performed."
John Rodeheffer, the only Wildcat boy who competed in the meet last year, placed second in the sophomore race in 10:42.08, a 14-second improvement.
Peterson said, "We had good first time performances in that race from Isaac Mathews, Nathan Wagner and newcomers to the team Jason Salas and Logan Clark."
Clark was the top freshman (fourth, 11:48.49); Wagner the top junior (29th, 11:33.33) and Salas the top senior (37th, 11:22.25).
Matthews was 50th among the seniors (11:46.35).
For the girls, Oak Harbor ran well in three of the classes, Peterson said, but was missing seniors Christina Wicker and Ashley Everett who were taking college placement tests.
Alex Laiblin led the girls by placing seventh in the junior race in 13:00.33. The time was a 37-second improvement over 2011 and was "a testament to her hard off-season work and time invested in the weight room this summer," Peterson said.
He added, "Newcomer Marisa Sligh ran well in her first cross country race as did returners Rachel Crowther and Nikki Blanchard."
Carly Crowther led the freshmen (33rd, 16:32.92), Sligh the sophomores (25th, 14:30.22) and Carlie Kenny the seniors (51st, 15:14.06).
Juniors Rachel Crowther and Blanchard placed 32nd (14:20.89) and 48th (15:32.35).
The Wildcats travel to Lynndale Park to take on Edmonds-Woodway and Arlington at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13.
Other Oak Harbor results at Sehome:
JV boys (87 runners): 37, freshman Joseph Gorman, 14:24.9; 80, sophomore Thomas O'Brien, 18:24.59.
Freshman boys (76): 24, Nathan Richardson, 12:34.64; 33, Jon Dix, 12:55.05; 61, Nathan Larson, 13:50.89.
Sophomore boys (93): 57, Gunnar Melnick, 12:43.34.
Junior boys (105): 57, Gavin Stewart, 12:19.28; 91, Steve Hall, 13:27.67.
Senior boys (98): 90, Haruka Earney, 13:32.85.
Freshman girls (64): 41, Mara Powers, 16:33.18.
Sophomore girls (79): 35, Jonalynn Horn, 14:50.69.
Senior girls (85): 60, Mackenzie Jackson, 15:54.37; 68, Rae Wynne, 16:37.39.
Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.