Seniors King, Smollack pace Wildcats’ cross country teams

With two runners returning to the cross country team that qualified for the state meet last year, Eric Peterson is confident Oak Harbor High School is going to have a good season in 2007.

In addition to experience the Wildcats also have the numbers with a total of 40 athletes, 29 boys and 11 girls, out for the teams.

Leading the boys squad is Kyle King.

The senior, who attends Coupeville High School but runs for the Oak Harbor team, finished fourth at the WesCo North League meet in 2006, but stepped things up and placed third in the district.

His efforts qualified him for state competition and he finished in 35th place at last year’s class 4A meet in Pasco.

“Kyle is a very good runner and I’m expecting him to do well again this year, “Peterson said.

King was named a first-team WesCo North cross country all-star and was also the class 1A state track champion in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races last spring.

Joining King on the varsity squad are senior twins Alex and Steven Nydham, who both competed at the varsity level in 2006, along with senior Richard Chong.

Sophomore Michael Reith, who finished with his best time of the season at last year’s district meet, is also returning and new to the team this year is freshman Tyler King.

“Michael is a good runner and should make the varsity group and Tyler is Kyle King’s younger brother and he is also a strong runner,” Peterson said. “I have a great group of guys out for the team this year and they are all fighting for a varsity spot.”

Among the 11 Wildcat girls, Mietra Smollack leads the pack.

Last season was the senior’s first time running cross country, but she finished 19th in the league meet and followed up with a 15th-place finish at the district to also earn a trip to Pasco for the state meet.

She was named a WesCo North honorable mention performer in 2006.

Other seniors with varsity experience returning for the 2007 campaign are Lauren Wilson and Krissy McGill.

The three seniors are joined by junior Michelle Sandstrom and sophomore Jessica Denmon, who also ran on the varsity team last year.

“We also have two new freshmen who came out this year, Abby Leete and Adrianna Royal,” Peterson said. “Both of them are definitely going to make the varsity team.”

Oak Harbor’s lone home meet this season is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, when the Wildcats host Jackson, Lake Stevens and Lynnwood.

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