Members of the Running Unlimited Fitness club completed the first round of qualifying for he national USA Track and Field cross country meet by taking part in the Association Championships Saturday, Nov. 10, at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle.
Runners had to finish among the top 35 in their division to advance to the regional finals at Mead High School in Spokane Saturday, Nov. 17.
Christina Wicker, 17, led RUFit with a first-place finish in the young women's division (5K, 18:57).
Coach Catie Rodeheffer said, "Christina looked exceptionally strong the whole race. She never had a form break and always looked powerful and strong up all the long climbs."
Wicker will not run in the regional meet because she will compete in the prestigious Border Clash which features the top high-school runners from Washington and Oregon. Rodeheffer said USATF may award Wicker a bye to the national meet.
Jonalynn Horn, 15, finished second in the 5K intermediate girls division (19:46), and John Rodeheffer, 16, was third (17:04) and Gavin Stewart, 16, 10th (18:14) among intermediate boys.
In two divisions where RUFit didn't have enough runners to compete as a team (at least five runners), it shared athletes with other clubs to help form teams that can compete for national titles.
Ryan Vasileff and Dylan Rydell, who both ran personal best times, combined with the Cascade Striders and helped the Bellevue team win the midget boys division. Vasileff, 12, placed eighth (11:27) in the 3K race and Rydell, 11, 38th (12:56).
Laura Rodeheffer, 13, placed 12th (4K, 16:30) to help Bellingham's Whatcom Tesseract to first in the youth girls division.
FUFit works out year-round and accepts new members, whether fitness or competitive minded, at any time. The club features six coaches and three practice groups. Contact coach Rodeheffer at 279-2196 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Other RUFit results:
Bantam boys (9/10, 3K): 21, Riley Williamson, 9, 14:54.
Bantam girls: 16, Catherine Wicker, 10, 14:21; 31, Emily Lamb, 9, 17:04.
Midget girls (11/12, 3K): 16, Megan Keating, 12, 12:41.
Youth boys (13/14, 4K): 10, Logan Clark, 14, 14:53; 18, Miguel Guzman, 14, 15:09.
Youth girls: 20, Mallorie Mitchem, 14, 16:57; 36, Kaitlyn Chelberg, 13, 18:05; 43, Carolynn Wicker, 13, 19:39.