Wa-Hi boys cross country sweeps at Big Nine invite

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KENNEWICK -- Wa-Hi's boys cross country team swept its Big Nine competitors at the first league meet at Irene Reinhart Park here Tuesday.

Aaron Nelson's first-place finish of 15:18 over the 3.1-mile course paced the Blue Devils past Davis, 17-41; Eastmont, 16-45; Richland, 18-38; Wenatchee, 24-31; and Hanford, 16-43.

The results against the Class 4A schools -- Davis, Richland and Wenatchee -- count in the league standings.

Other boys Wa-Hi boys results included J.P. Wolpert, fourth, 16:20; Austin Morgan, sixth, 16:58; Gregg Heller, seventh, 16:59; Blake Gerling, 14th, 17:23; Zack Lapier, 22nd, 17:44; Jeremiah Mason, 31st, 18:26.

"This was a great start for our boys team," Wa-Hi coach Mike Locati said. "It was a total team effort starting with the junior varsity team and how they ran. I can't say enough about how this team as a whole is coming together.

"Our boys came into the meet and ran some very solid performances," he said. "The difference in the meet was Gregg Heller and Blake Gerling -- both of them ran extremely well in the middle of the lineup which made us very hard to beat."

The Wa-Hi girls, paced by Rachel Nelson's fourth-place finish in 20:26, defeated Hanford, 24-33, but lost to Davis, 20-41; Eastmont, 20-39; Richland, 18-37; Wenatchee, 20-36.

Other Blue Devil girls results included Hannah Hampson, 26th, 23:11; Jocelyn Vargas, 27th, 23:19; McKelle Wilwand, 29th, 23:34; Ashley Taylor, 31st, 23:42; Catherine Feistner, 35th, 24:24.

"The girls had another solid performance," Locati said. "I think that as they learn to race and get some more training behind them, they will improve quite a bit over the season."

Wa-Hi next attends the Nike Pre-National meet in Portland on Sept. 25. The meet has teams from all over the nation competing.

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