Sports

RUFit athletes compete in national meet

RUFit members at the national Junior Olympic cross country meet: left to right, Dylan Rydell, Ryan Vasileff, John Rodeheffer, Caleb Thompson (team member visiting), Jonalynn Horn and Laura Rodeheffer. - Photo by Bill Rodeheffer
RUFit members at the national Junior Olympic cross country meet: left to right, Dylan Rydell, Ryan Vasileff, John Rodeheffer, Caleb Thompson (team member visiting), Jonalynn Horn and Laura Rodeheffer.
— image credit: Photo by Bill Rodeheffer

Five Running Unlimited Fitness athletes competed in the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national cross country championships in Albuquerque Saturday, Dec. 8.

Ryan Vasileff, 12, and Dylan Rydell, 11, were on "loan" to the Cascade Striders and helped their team place eighth among 23 midget (11/12) teams. Vasileff placed 67th (11:32) and Rydell 180th (12:22) out of 260 runners over 3,000 meters.

RUFit coach Catie Rodeheffer said Vasileff was boxed in early and stood about 100th 2,000 meters into the race but "showed great strength to make surges and work to move up."

Laura Rodeheffer, 13, placed 138th (16:54) out of 238 in the 4,000-meter youth (13/14) race and helped her team, Whatcom Tesseract, place fourth, just 27 points out of first. Coach Rodeheffer said her daughter was hampered by a sore heal, an injury that she couldn't worsen by racing, and had to fight through the discomfort.

Jonalynn Horn, 15, placed 39th of 132 (21:22) runners in the intermediate (15/16) 5K race.

John Rodeheffer, 16, finished 31st out of 160 in the intermediate boys division. His 5K time of 17:38 was only 74 seconds behind the winning mark.

None of the RUFit athletes ran personal records at the meet, but that wasn't unexpected because of the elevation (5,000 feet), according to coach Rodeheffer. She said, "Coach Bill (Rodeheffer) and I were very proud of all of them for putting out their best efforts and rising to the challenge of racing to the best of their abilities."

It was Rydell's and Horn's first national junior meet; the others are veterans. Laura and John Rodeheffer have qualified eight times and Vasileff twice.

RUFIT is a non-profit club and would like to thank Iverson Insurance Agency for its support of the runners and Applebees for the shout-out.

RUFIT is a year-round club and with six coaches and three training groups and offers training and fitness gains for all ability levels, ages 5 to 18. Please call Catie Rodeheffer at 360-279-2196 or visit www.rufit.ws for more information.

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