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Oak Harbor shines at state -- again | Cross country

By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News-Times Sports editor
November 5, 2012 · Updated 9:16 AM
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This is a good habit.

The Oak Harbor boys cross country team placed 10th and the girls 11th in the state meet at Pasco's Sun Willow Golf Course Saturday, Nov. 3.

This was the third consecutive season both teams qualified for state; the fourth straight year for the girls. Until this streak, no Wildcat girls team qualified for more than two years in a row. The only better boys run was a four-year streak from 1969 to 1972.

Senior Christina Wicker, the only OHHS girl to compete in four state meets, placed 10th Saturday (18.58.1), the second-best finish ever by a Wildcat runner. Debra Vaughn placed second in 1994.

Junior Alex Laiblin followed Wicker in 19th in a personal best 19:27.7.

Wicker was part of a strong Wesco showing at state as five of the top 10 girls came from the local league. Wesco champion Glacier Peak easily won the state team title with 66 points, and Grizzly Amy-Eloise Neale won her third individual title in four years (17:03.6). Oak Harbor scored 242 points.

The Oak Harbor boys scored 284 points. Spokane's North Central took the title with 38 points, and Seattle Prep's Joe Hardy won the 5,000-meter race in 15:18.4.

Clayton Richardson, running a personal best 16:41.3, led the Oak Harbor boys by placing 48th.

He was followed by John Rodeheffer (61st, 16:48.7), Jason Salas (75th, 17:02.2), Gavin Stewart (90th, 17:17.5), Alexander Krantz (111th, 17:38.3), Nathan Wagner (114th, 17:40.3) and Patrick Mayer (115th, 17:41.3) out of 144.

For the girls, Jonalynn Horn was 39th (19:48.6) out of 139, Carlie Kenny 122nd (21:42.3), Ashley Everett 123rd (21:44.9), Marisa Sligh 128th (21:53.1) and Rachel Crowther 134th (22:15.3).

Coach Eric Peterson said, "Overall the guys ran similar 5K times to last week when they were peaked to perform at the district meet to win the title. This was just icing on the cake for the boys to wrap up the season running well as a team and cracking the top 10 in the state. They ran hard and with heart that makes a coach proud."

Assistant coach Andy Wesley, who works with the girls team, said, "The most enjoyable thing about the girls state performance was watching how happy they were about their performance. They were overjoyed by how their hard work paid off."

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