’Cats field best cross country team in years

Coach Andy Wesley chats with the girls cross country team at Wildcat Memorial Stadium after a hard practice session. - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Coach Andy Wesley chats with the girls cross country team at Wildcat Memorial Stadium after a hard practice session.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Coach Andy Wesley has some fantastic runners on the 2009 edition of the Oak Harbor High School girls cross country team.

With eight runners capable of reaching the state championships, the fifth-year head coach and his chargers are excited to say the least.

“The enthusiasm is running high and I have some good runners,” Wesley said.

Leading the team is the lone senior, Jessica Denmon, who didn’t compete last year, but ran during her sophomore and freshman years.

Joining Denmon is junior Adrianna Royal, who is nationally ranked in the 2,000-meter steeplechase in her age division as well as in the 1,500, and junior Allison Duvenez, who is one of the top WesCo North distance runners. She finished 59th at last season’s state cross country championships.

Junior Abby Leete sat out last season with a leg injury, but is back and running better than ever. Leete competes in the 3,200 meter run for the OHHS track team.

A newcomer who Wesley said is going to be another great runner is freshman Hannah Kagey

Three of the other top Wildcat runners are all sophomores, Taylor Von Gray, Emily Bain and Heather Dale.

Oak Harbor has talent to burn in 2009 and with the young members on the team, should be a major force in the years to come.

The boys team shouldn’t be underestimated, either.

Head coach Eric Peterson has junior Tyler King returning to the roster. Last year, King finished in 22nd place at the state Class 4A championships.

Joining King are seniors Michael Reith, Jr., Matt Bolte, Lucas Salmons and Dan Klope.

All four seniors are distance runners on the Wildcat track team and Peterson said they have put in time staying in shape during the summer.

Rounding out the team is sophomore Matt Reith.

The 2009 cross country season should be an exciting one in Wildcat country.

Oak Harbor opens the season Thursday, Sept. 3, with a barbecue and fun run at Fort Ebey, and hosts Lynnwood and Monroe in its lone home meet at 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1.

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