Seven Wa-Hi boys, three girls advance to Class 4A regional cross-country meet

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WENATCHEE — With what coach Mike Locati called "a great day for the Wa-Hi harriers," the Blue Devil boys, paced by Aaron Nelson, placed third at the 12-team district meet and earned a ticket to next Friday’s regional meet in Spokane.


Three girls (Rachel Nelson, Denali Molitor and Emma Burgess) also qualified as individuals for the regional.


Aaron Nelson placed second overall over the boys’ 3-mile course at 15 minutes, 22.95 seconds.


Eisenhower’s Timothy Cummings placed fist in 15:14.03.


The boys team scores were Eisenhower 51, Southridge 63, Wa-Hi 82 and Kamiakin 104, Wenatchee 116, Eastmont 128, Davis 172, Richland 179, Moses Lake 272, Pasco 292, Chiawana 325 and Kwennewick incomplete.


In the girls competition, Wa-Hi Rachel Nelson also placed second over the 3-mile course in 18:17.70, and the Blue Devils placed eighth in the team competition.


Berenice Penaloza of Ike won the girls race in 18:09.25.


The girls team scores were Richland 54, Eisenhower 79, Wenatchee 95, Davis 104, Kamiakin 123, Southridge 159, Pasco 184, Wa-Hi 196, Eastmont 214, Moses Lake 245, Chiawana inc. and Kennewick inc.


Fort the Blue Devil boys, the individual results included Nelson (2nd, 15:23) JP Wolpert (8th, 15:50), Austin Morgan (11th, 16:00), Greg Heller (26th, 16:35), Blake Lewis (37th 16:56), Blake Gerling (51st, 17:20) and Dustin Taylor (57th, 17:37).


"Our number 3,4,5 runners performances were crucial to our success today," Locati said. "They all had season best performances."


"All seven on the boys team qualify for the regional in Spokane next Friday," he said.


For the Wa-Hi girls, the individual results included Rachel Nelson (2nd, 18:17), Denali Molitor (28th, 19:52), Emma Burgess (44th, 20:43), McKhayla Morris (63rd, 22:36), Maya Rapp (67th, 23:02), McKelle Wilwand (68th, 23:07 and Abbie Allen (70thm 23:38).


"I am very pleased with the performances today," Locati said. "Our runners competed very well at a critical time in the season. We had gutsy performances throughout the team, top to bottom.


"We have seen so much improvement in their performances throughout the year, it’s a great way to end the regular season," he added. "We are excited about the post season. We will definitely take the confidence and momentum coming out of the district race and go into the regional race ready to roll.


"Even though we were led by both the Nelson’s and their second place efforts in both the boys and girls race, the total effort of the boy’s team overshadowed any individual performances," Locati said. "It was a powerful thing to watch them run for each other.


"Both Aaron and Rachel are running really well right now and have a good opportunity if all goes well to extend their season into the state meet," Locati said. "Rachel and Aaron are both throwing down some very fast times at this point."


Friday’s regional meet takes place at the Wandermere Golf Course in Spokane with a 3 p.m.

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