Running Unlimited Fitness hosted its third annual Runnin' the Rock home cross-country meet at the Gallery Golf Course Saturday, Oct. 20, and the contest attracted a talented competitor, Olympian Donn Cabral.
Cabral, who placed eighth in the 3K steeplechase in London this summer, won the 4K open division in a course record 12:35.
He is coached by Peter Oviat, the coach of Bellingham's Whatcom Tesseract Club.
RUFit coach Catie Rodeheffer said Cabral's course record "should stand for some time."
She added, "He was avidly watched by the remaining kids, gave autographs, photo ops, and even a short piece of advice to take advantage of, and enjoy, the gorgeous scenery of Whidbey Island."
Six clubs, including the host RUFit and the North Whidbey Running Club, along with some unattached runners, competed in the meet.
Rodeheffer said all of the RUFit runners who had run the same course distance last year posted personal records: Catherine Wicker (-59 seconds), Megan Keating (-3:33), Sierra Dubuque (-3:25), Ryan Vasileff (-46 seconds) and Miguel Guzman (-38 seconds).
The top RUFit runners were Laura Rodeheffer and Ryan Vasileff. Rodeheffer won the youth girls 4,000 meters in 16:34. Vasileff was out-kicked at the finish and placed second in the midget boys 3,000 meters in 11:09.
RUFit tied Seattle's Rain City Flyers for first in the midget boys division but lost out via the tie-breaker. Vasileff was followed by Dylan Rydell (eighth, 13:04), Steven Jackson (13th, 16:39) and Devon Gilbert (14th, 18:09).
The North Whidbey Running Club won the team scoring in the mini-bantam (6-and-under) division. Will Gray was third, the best finish by an Island runner, in the 1K race. Gray's younger brother Ripley and Ava Keever also competed in the division to help NWRC to the team win. Teammates Zoe Gray and Ian Storer competed in the 3K divisions.
NWRC coach Curtis Vieke said this was their first competitive race and the first time they had run only against runners their own age.
Vieke said, "I am very proud of the performance of our group. This was a very tough race for our young running group and it was great to see how well they performed as well as how much fun they had doing it."
Other RUFit results:
Mini-bantam (6-and-under), coed, 1K: 5, Hunter Dubuque, 6:38; 6, Andrew Stach, 6:46.
Girls sub-bantam (7/8), 2K: 2, Ambyrlie-Jane Johnson, 10:55.
Boys sub-bantam: 7, Gavin Clark, 10:29; 8, Isaac Schulz, 11:42.
Girls bantam (9/10), 3K: 9, Lexi Hughes, 14:03; 11, Catherine Wicker, 14:33; 17, Natalie French, 17:04; 18, Jillian Mayne, 17:07; 19, Emily Lamb, 18:59. (The team finished fourth.)
Boys bantam: 6, Riley Williamson, 15:16; 8, Logan Dubuque, 17:46.
Girls midget (11/12), 3K: 3, Megan Keating, 12:37; 13, Sierra Dubuque, 14:59.
Girls youth (13/14), 4K: 4, Carolynn Wicker, 18:05.
Boys youth: 8, Miguel Guzman, 15:32.
Next for RUFit is the Junior Olympic Cross-Country Association Championships in Seattle Nov. 17.
RUFit is a year-round, USATF-sanctioned running club offering competitive or fitness opportunities for kids ages 5-18. Kids may join at any point in the year. For more information, go to www.rufit.ws, www.wirc.ws or call Catie Rodeheffer at 279-2196.
For information about the North Whidbey Running Club, call 675-7665 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(North Whidbey Running Club members (from left) Wiil Gray, Ian Storer, Ripley Gray, Zoe Gray, Ava Keever and coach Megan Hall are all smiles after the race. Curis Vieke photo.)