Devils' Wolpert finishes 6th of 209 runners

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RICHLAND - JP Wolpert finished with a 3 mile time of 15:33.42 to place sixth in a field of 209 runners here Saturday in the Richland Invitational Cross Country meet..

"This was a good race for JP," Wa-Hi coach Michael Locati said, "Last week he was battling a cold but was able to battle back today, much more like he is capable of running."

Other men's runners noteworthy to Locati were Sean Hollenbeck (16:45.16) who finished 78th and Jacob Lewis (18:04.05), who finished 168.

"Sean Hollenbeck continues to improve and is stepping up as a senior leader on the team," Locati said. "Sean runs with a lot of guts. He definitely rises to the occasion and gives the team a great effort.

"Jacob was running his first varsity race and ran very well," Locati continued. "He (Lewis) continues to improve every time he goes out on the course."

Greggory Heller finished 76th for Wa-Hi in 16:43.97. Ben Wolpert ran to 90th in 16:54.33.

"We need to have some people step up and decide to run every time," Locati said of his Blue Devils. "If we can have some consistency with our boys we will be much more able to compete with many of the teams we face."

On the girls side, Rachel Nelson finished 15th in 19:20.78. Hannah Hampson was 32nd in 19:55.89, and Lea Davidson crosssed the finish line in 62nd in 20:44.40.

"Hannah continues to run well," Locati said, "She is such a consistent runner. You always know when she steps out on the course, she is going to compete.

"Lea is a first year x-country runner," Locati added. "She is doing extremely well for her experience level and continues to improve after each race."

Locati was happy with all of the girls varsity runners.

"I would say that all of our varsity girls who ran today did very well," Locati said. "Just about everyone ended up with season best marks."

The Devils will run again Thursday, October 13th beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Fort Walla Walla Park in a Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A league meet.

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