Deal, Benito lead Waitsburg-Prescott at District 9 XC meet

Waitsburg-Prescott harriers Seth Deal and Isabela Benito both win their races at the seven-team cross country meet.



Seen through changing fall color, Waitsburg-Prescott runner Isabel Benito leads the group of cross-country runners in to the Waitsburg cemetery.


Waitsburg-Prescott runner Isabel Benito leads the girls cross-country runners up a hill during the second-lap in Waitsburg Tuesday afternoon. Benito won the race, leading the entire race.


Cardinal Seth Deal leads the boys cross-country race around the top of the Waitsburg cemetery.

WAITSBURG - Waitsburg-Prescott sophomore Seth Deal prepped for next Thursday's District cross country meet with a 30-second victory over his nearest competitor against most of the District 9 teams here Tuesday.

On the girls' side, W-P's Isabela Benito continued her strong showing this season with a decisive win over St. John-Endicott/Lacrosse-Washtucna's Erin Schuster.

Tri-Cities Prep won the boys team title with 22 points, with W-P in second at 45, followed by St. John-End/Lac-Wash at 82, Dayton 105, Liberty Christian 129 and Pomeroy 147.

Walla Walla Valley Academy fielded an incomplete team.

On the girls' side, St. John-End/Lac-Wash won with 24 points, with T-C Prep next at 31.

Dayton, WWVA, W-P and Pomeroy all fielded incomplete teams.

"I'm real hopeful we're (W-P) going to get our boys team and Isabela (to the state meet)," W-P coach Joanna Lanning said.

The top 10 boys, as well as two teams, and top five girls and one girls team, advance out of the District meet Nov. 28 in Pomeroy to the State meet Nov. 6 at Sun Willows in Pasco.

Deal won the 5,000-meter course Tuesday in 17:11, followed by a trio of Tri-Cities Prep runners.

W-P's Nick Carpenter was fifth in 18:29, Matthew Montgomery followed four more T-C Prep harriers in 10th in 19:31, and Erik Sandoval's 19:53 edged E.J. Meserve's 20:08 for 14th and 15th, respectively.

Ben Moser completed the W-P boys team, finishing in 31st in 21:15.

Dayton's Marshall Nechodom led the Bulldogs contingent in 18th place in 20:12, followed by Jason Norris in 20:13.

Nathanial Steen was 22nd in 20:28, Seth Jackson was 25th in 20:44, Nick Owens 36th in 23:08, and Jacob Waggoner 37th in 23:09.

Walla Walla Valley Academy's Brian Wittlake was 20th in 20:24.

Joe Cruz led Pomeroy's runners with a 28th place in 21:05, followed by Joel Meyers in 34th in 22:00, Mike Wade 40th in 24:22, Jeremy Burke 41st in 25:05, Derek Anderson 43rd in 25:51, and Samuel Lindekugel 46th in 28:48.

On the girls side, Benito's 22:45 was better than Schuster's 23:18. Her W-P teammate Anjelica Bedolla finished 12th in 27:12.

Dayton's Claire Lyman was 11th in 26:59, and Bulldog Anita Jackson 14th in 28:09.

Walla Walla Valley Academy's Lauren Spicklemier finished 13th in 27:24.

Brielle Hocking led Pomeroy's girls with a 15th-place finish in 29:02, followed by fellow Pirates Kelcey Gerking at 17th in 31:52, and Shelby Fuchs 18th in 33:17.

"We were very happy," Lanning said of W-P's effort. "It looks really good for Seth, his closest (District) competitors ran yesterday."

Asotin was the lone District 9 team without representation at the meet. Lanning said the Panthers had been hit will an illness and opted to rest.

One Asotin boy, and two girls, are expected to give Deal and Benito competition at the District meet, Lanning said.

Deal, who finished 21st at State as a freshman last year, also took a minute off the course record, she said.

"He runs very smart," Lanning said. "He's very serious, and when all is said and done, he's going to be incredible."

Senior Benito finished in the middle of the field at State last year, in 34th.

"Isabela continues to get stronger," she said. "She runs on pure heart and is mentally tough. She's a fighter. I think she'll finish in the top 20 (at State), possibly better depending on the day."


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