Wilcat harriers move up in WesCo

The Wildcat Boys Cross Country team took a great step forward Thursday at the WesCo North Championships in Lakewood, improving three places over last year’s finish.

“As strange as it sound, the boys put together their best race of the year for the third straight race,” coach Seth Hodges said.

Junior Derek Wirth and sophomore Chris Wichers led the way yet again as they took the 11th and 13th slots respectively.

“They just chewed up the other runners over the last mile,” Hodges said. “Each runner moved up about six spots in the race.”

Senior captain Tim Riney was just behind in 18th place. All three runners — Wirth, Wichers and Riney — will be seeing all-conference honors at the end of the season, Hodges added.

To finish out Oak Harbor’s scoring, junior Richard Carter and senior captain Greg Dillard took 28th and 29th, respectively.

“We scored 99 points,” Hodges said, “which meant we averaged under 20 points per runners. Last year Chris Wichers was our best finisher at 21st,” he added by way of comparison.

The team dropped its score by 56 points compared with last year’s race. “It was a true team effort,” Hodges said. “This year’s top five runners improved by 10 to 15 places over last year’s top five.”

The boys run next Friday in the District Championships at Skagit Valley College.

“If we get another effort like this at the district meet, we could finish in the top eight,” Hodges said. Last year the Wildcats were 13th.

Girls also

get better

The Wildcat girls also showed the greatest improvement over last year’s race. They knocked 29 points off their previous score. The bad news is they finished 6th again.

Last year, however, the girls were a distant 6th, winding up over 50 points out of 4th place. This year the girls finished only 12 points out of 4th place.

“In the world of cross-country, 50 points is impossible to overcome in the course of a week,” Hodges said. “Twelve points is a matter of each runner catching one to two more opponents.” Sophomore Leonila Celestino keeps getting stronger. She led the Wildcats with a 16th place finish.

“The course was slightly longer than last year’s course, but Leonila was able to knock 50 seconds off of last year’s time,” Hodges said.

Freshman Jessica Brundidge was just behind in 23rd place and put up the third best freshman time in the race. Sophomore newcomer Amanda Gordon and senior Brianne King pushed each other over the length of the course to take 32nd and 34th, respectively.

Danielle Berg had a superb race to round out the team scoring with 43rd place.

“Danielle has been about two and a half minutes behind our lead girls all year,” Hodges said. “Today she ran a gutsy race and finished 97 seconds behind Leonila’s best race.”

The girls finished last season with a great race, taking 10th in the Districts.

“Like the boys, if the girls can get another performance like today’s they can finish in the top eight next Friday,” Hodges said.

Wesco North Championships Oct. 24, at Lakewood High School, 3.084 miles

Boys Team Results:

1. Snohomish 25; 2. Marsyville-Pilchuck 53; 3. Oak Harbor 99; 4. Stanwood 113; 5. Arlington 123; 6. Cascade 145; 7. Lake Stevens 204; 8. Mount Vernon 208; 9. Monroe 272.

Boy’s Individual Results:

11. Derek Wirth 17:07; 13. Chris Wichers 17:09;18. Tim Riney 17:21; 28. Richard Carter 17:51; 29. Greg Dillard 17:53; 43. David Marriott18:14; 44. Kelly Garcia 18:16; 50. Barrett Horn 18:38.

There were 69 runners in the field.

Girls Team Results:

1. Snohomish 32; 2. Stanwood 65; 3. Marysville-Pilchuck 86; 4. Lake Stevens 130; 5. Arlington 131; 6. Oak Harbor 142; 7. Monroe 187; 8. Cascade 205; 9. Mount Vernon 251.

Girl’s Individual Results:

16. Leonila Celestino 20:51; 23. Jessica nBrundidge 21:22; 32. Amanda Gordon 21:45; 34. Brianne King 21:48; 43. Danielle Berg 22:28; 58. Ashley Denton 23:57; 62. Alyssa Marriott 24:10.

There was a field of 72 runners.

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