Rodeheffer wins league championship | Cross country

Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor's John Rodeheffer nears the finish line to win the league cross country title.
— image credit: Photo by Steve Bristow

Oak Harbor's John Rodeheffer was the boys individual champion at the Western Conference 3A cross country championships at South Whidbey High School Saturday, Oct. 26.

The Wildcat boys finished fourth and the girls third in the 10-team meet.

Oak Harbor travels to Lakewood Saturday, Nov. 2, for the district meet, and the Wildcats have some work to do if they want to qualify as a team for the state meet.

The top three schools at district earn state berths. The 10 Wesco schools and Ferndale will vie for those spots, so the Oak Harbor boys will have to leap frog one school and the girls hold off a solid Ferndale team to snag one of the state slots.

The Wildcat boys, who are two-time defending district champions, qualified for the past three state meets and the girls the past four.

The girls district race begins at 11:40 a.m.; the boys start at 1 p.m.

The Oak Harbor boys scored 90 points in the league meet, 23 points behind third-place Mountlake Terrace. Shorewood nipped Glacier Peak 51-52 for the title.

On the girls side, Glacier Peak won with 33 points, followed by Mountlake Terrace with 61 and Oak Harbor 70. Shorecrest was a distance fourth with 105.

Oak Harbor coach Eric Peterson said, "For the guys to qualify for the state meet as a team this year will be a challenge. Our three, four and five runners have to make up a combined 20-something spots to catch Mountlake for that third spot, which won't be easy. We believe they can do it, but it'll really be a gut check to see how bad they really want it - they control their destiny."

The girls' goal, Peterson said, is to catch second-place Mountlake Terrace: "Based on how our girls have been running, this is definitely doable."

Rodeheffer, a junior, won the 5,000-meter race in 16:10.5; Shorewood's Omar Abdulla finished second in 16:20.6.

Oak Harbor senior Clayton Richardson placed sixth (16:42.3).

Senior Alex Laiblin (19:34) and junior Jonalynn Horn (19:44.7) ran fifth and seventh to lead the Wildcat girls.

Terrace's Katherine Gustafson won in 19:09.2.

"We were really impressed with how John ran," Peterson said. "At the first-mile marker the top five finishers all came through at just under 5 minutes. John was able to surge on the hill and break away from the guys during the second and third mile.

"Clay ran a great race; I know next week he has plans to make the leap and push himself right into a top five finish at the district meet."

He added, "Alex Laiblin ran a solid race coming off a tough week of practice. Jonalynn Horn and Laura Rodeheffer both ran great to finish in the top 10."

Western Conference 3A results for Oak Harbor:

Boys varsity (93 runners): 1, John Rodeheffer, 16:10.5; 6, Clayton Richardson, 16:42.3; 18, Sebastian Ceaser, 17:28.1; 34, Nathan Wagner, 18:07; 35, Dakota Powers, 18:07.7; 38, Miguel Guzman, 18:12.9; 48, Brendan Bristow, 18:25.7; 49, Stephen Miller, 18:26.5; 51, Tristin Mirabal, 18:27.4; 70, Caleb Peek, 19:22.5.

Varsity girls (69): 5, Alex Laiblin, 19:34; 7, Jonalynn Horn, 19:44.7; 10, Laura Rodeheffer, 19:58.2; 22, Marisa Sligh, 21:42.6; 29, Suzanne Kaltenbach, 22:18.4; 30, Kaitlyn Chelberg, 22:22.4; 36, Carolynn Wicker, 22:38.7; 44, Rachel Crowther, 23:05.7; 45, Kaitlyn Smith, 23:14.1; 47, Carly Hall, 23:16.7.

JV boys (300): 6, Logan Clark, 17:48; 37, Mathew Nortier, 18:55.1; 49, Steven Hall, 19:10.3; 50, Joe Gorman, 19:10.5; 82, David Nuanez, 19:50.6; 87, Seth Gluth, 19:55.8; 96, Ziwei Peng, 20:05.5; 111, Nathan Richardson, 20:19.9; 118, Alex Hartley, 20:26.1; 134, Garrett Stahl, 20:33.9; 145, Patrick Abercrombie, 20:42.5; 150, Derek Volk, 20:52.1; 155, Austin Hauter, 20:56.9; 190, Nathan Larson, 21:42.5; 193, Scot Erikson, 21:44.8; 214, Josh Margraf, 22:05.8; 217, Kristopher Medina, 22:09.7; 228, Thomas O'Brien, 22:26.4; 233, Alex Berry, 22:43.7; 264, William Nicholson, 23:44.9; 277, Lucas Nicholson, 24:24.4.

JV girls (142): 40, Alisa Meany, 24:10.1; 44, Elyssa Nortier, 24:23.9; 50, Nanna Keyes, 24:40; 53, Alex Higgins, 24:49.4; 54, Nikki Blanchard, 24:51.5; 55, Carly Crowther, 24:52.4; 88, Sierra Seabolt, 26:46.5; 89, Sydney Ericksen, 26:49; 103, Jackie Dejesus, 27:43.7.


Jonalynn Horn, left, and Alex Laiblin, front, run with the pack at the Wesco league meet. Laiblin went on to finish fifth and Horn seventh. (Photo by Steve Bristow)

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