Wa-Hi's Wolpert finishes 14th at State cross country meet

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PASCO - Wa-Hi's senior JP Wolpert ran a personal best 15:37.9 at the WIAA 4A State Championships Saturday, but the time was only good enough for 14th as the competition during the 5,000 meter run at the Sun Willows golf course in Pasco was intense.

Rachel Nelson led the Wa-Hi girls duo with a 19:19.0, good enough for 34th, and Hannah Hampson took 54th with a 19:35.6.

Wolpert was just 1.7 seconds slower than Eisenhower's Jaziel Rodriguez, who finished in 10th.

"The times they are running this year are almost unbelievable," Wa-Hi coach Mike Locati said in an e-mail. "There were several new state records in several divisions and also new course records. Not only are they running very fast times but the depth is also amazing."

Wenatchee's Jacob Smith took first out of the 148 boys runners with a 15:03.0. Jordan McPhee of Mt. Rainier finished first out of 146 girls with a 17.24.7, a full 42 seconds faster than the second place finisher.

"The girls' team also accepted their state academic championship award earlier in the day," Locati said. "It just goes to show the quality of individuals we have on the team. Not only do they succeed in the running arena but also academically. They are about working hard and excelling in all aspect of their lives."

Wa-Hi only qualified three runners and thus were not eligible for placing as a team.

Gig Harbor took the top spot for the boys and Tahoma took first for the girls.

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