Junior Olympics: Local runners finish up at national meet

Led by eighth-place finishes by John Rodeheffer and Adrianna Royal, local athletes wrapped up their trip to the national USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in Sacramento City College July 27 to Aug. 1.

Rodeheffer, 13, ran a 9:51.54, just a few seconds off his personal best, to place eighth in the youth boys (13 and 14 year-olds) 3,000 meters Saturday, July 31. That earned him a medal and All-American ranking.

This was the fourth national meet for the Whidbey Island Running Club athlete and second All-American honor, the other coming in cross country.

Kyle Gronostaj of Averill Park won the 3,000 in 9:08.23.

Royal, who will turn 17 later this year, clocked a 4:55.05 in the young women's (17-18) 1,500 Sunday for her eighth-place medal. She won her preliminary heat Friday in 4:49.33.

Katherine Delaney, running unattached, won in 4:36.96.

Royal, who runs for the Federal Way Track Club, also placed second in the 2,000 steeplechase Tuesday, July 27.

Three other WIRC members competed Saturday.

Christina Wicker, 14, earned 12th place in the intermediate girls (15-16) 1,500 in 5:09.43. She placed sixth in her preliminary heat in a personal best 5:01.33.

Coach Catie Rodeheffer said of Wicker's effort: "Quite an impressive performance for her first time, and she will get nothing but stronger as she gains experience."

Amy-Eloise Neale of the Snohomish Track Club won in 4:42.

Laura Rodeheffer, 11, was 15th in the midget girls (11-12) 3,000 in 11:45.39, about 25 seconds off her personal best, according to coach Rodeheffer.

This was Laura Rodeheffer's fourth national meet and second in track.

Sydney Tullai of the Equalizers Track Club won the event in 10:21.05.

The WIRC's Olivia Meyer, 14, placed 20th in the intermediate girls 3,000 in 12:16.97, about 27 seconds off her personal best. Neale won in 10:22.88.

Wednesday, July 28, the WIRC's midget girls 4x800 relay team finished 15th in a new team record of 11:42.28. Carolynn Wicker (2:43), Kaitlyn Chelberg (2:44), Carly Crowther (3:21) and Laura Rodeheffer (2:51) combined for the record-setting effort.

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