Wa-Hi's boys and girls place second and third, respectively at the Ellensburg Cross Country Invite

Aaron Nelson and J.P. Wolpert lead the boys to a second-place team finish and Rachel Nelson helps the girls place third.

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ELLENSBURG -- With Aaron Nelson and J.P. Wolpert finishing with identical 12:09 times at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, Wa-H's boys placed second at the 15-team Ellensburg Invitational cross country meet here on Saturday.Ellensburg placed first with a score of 43 points, and Wa-Hi scored 53 points. Nelson and Wolpert tied for the third-best time ever run on the course for boys. A total of 75 runners competed in the boys race over the 2.35-mile course. "Aaron and J.P. will be among the top runners in our league again," Wa-Hi coach Mike Locati said. In the girls competition, Rachel Nelson placed fourth in 15:08 to lead the Blue Devils team to a third-place finish. West Valley of Yakima placed first with 46 points, and Wa-Hi placed third with 79 points, behind the 74 points of Ellensburg. Audrey Urlacher of West Valley won the girls race in 14:18, a new course record for the girls. The other Blue Devils boys were Sean Newcomb (12th, 13:09), Greg Heller (17th, 13:25), Ty Hafen (21st, 13:29), Dustin Taylor (25th, 13:38) and Jeremiah Mason (37th, 14:00). The other Wa-Hi girls were Denali Molitor (8th, 16:04), Emma Burgess (10th, 16:21), McKhayla Morris (32nd, 18:08), Maya Rapp (41st, 18:42), Mckelle Wilwand (46th, 19:01) and Abbie Allen (49th, 19:25). "It was a pleasant surprise that we added Rachel Nelson, a freshman, who ran a very solid time," Locati said. "Overall we're a young team," Locati said. "But we have very good senior leadership. I was very pleased with the effort level. You never know how people will respond in the first competition. "We have a ways to go," he said. "But the kids competed well, and the boys team was without its No. 3 and No. 4 runners (Austin Morgan and Zach Lapier, respectively). "We will have those kids back for our first league match at Pasco on Tuesday," Locati said. That will be an eight-team event with a 3:30 p.m. start.

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