Whidbey Running Club members qualify for regional meet

Teammates Olivia Meyer (left) and Christina Wicker finish sixth and seventh for the WIRC.  - Photo coutesy of William Lord
Teammates Olivia Meyer (left) and Christina Wicker finish sixth and seventh for the WIRC.
— image credit: Photo coutesy of William Lord

The Whidbey Island Running Club's bantam girls' team and 15 other individuals qualified for regional with a strong showing at the Junior Olympic Association Championship Saturday, Nov. 14, at Seattle's Lower Woodland Park.

The regional competition will be Saturday, Nov. 21, at Planes Ferry Park in Spokane. Runners from Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska will race to qualify for the national meet in Reno Dec. 12. The top 20 individuals and three teams will move on.

The WIRC competed in six divisions at Lower Woodland, but fielded a complete team (at least five runners) in just the bantam girls. That one team put on an impressive show, placing second with 49 points.

The Issaquah Gilders won with 27 points; the Bellevue Striders claimed third with 68.

The local bantam girls (10 and under) were led by Laura Rodeheffer (10) in third in 12:41 in the 3,000 meter race. She was followed by Kaitlyn Chelerg (10), sixth, 13:09; Carolynn Wicker (10), ninth, 13:48; Caitlin Maronde (10), 16th, 14:40; Megan Keating (9), 22nd, 15:43; Mackenzie Reed (7), 25th, 16:07; and Catherine Wicker (7), 30th, 17:05.

Carolyn Wicker improved 24 places and shaved nearly five minutes off her performance last year in this race.

Other highlights in the Junior Olympic meet came from second-place finishes by Dakota Powers and John Rodeheffer.

Powers led the entire midget boys' race until he was nipped at the wire; his 11:13 time was 23 seconds better than last year.

John Rodeheffer, a seventh-grader, finished just five seconds behind ninth-grader Kyler Reed of Bellingham in the youth boys' race. Reed recently participated in the state high school cross country meet for Squalicum.

The top 35 individuals in each division qualified for the regional race.

Bantam Boys (10 and under, 3,000 meters): Ryan Vasileff (9), 14th, 13:51; Tyler Gehan (9), 35th, 16:11; and Josh Elisen (9), 39th, 20:10.

Midget Girls (11-12, 3,000 meters): Marisa Sligh (12), 14th, 13:04; Jonalynn Horn (12), 23rd, 13:28; Breanna Grehan (11), 32nd, 16:40; and Carly Crowther (11), 33rd, 17:05.

Midget Boys (11-12, 3,000 meters): Dakota Powers (12), second, 11:13; Gunnar Melnick (12), 13th, 12:31; and Migel Guzman (11), 25th, 14:05.

Youth Girls (13-14, 4,000 meters): Olivia Meyer (14), sixth, 16:45; Christina Wicker (14), seventh, 16:46; Hannah Kagey (13), 30th, 18:41; and Megan Maronde (13), 39th, 22:31.

Youth Boys (13-14, 4,000 meters): John Rodeheffer (13), second, 14:06; Stephen Miller (13), 15th, 15:31; and Nathanael Stanford (13), 22nd, 16:06.

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