Wa-Hi girls run to win in Ellensburg

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ELLENSBURG — Wa-Hi’s girls harriers ran with key runners at the Ellensburg Invitational here Saturday, but tallied 35 points to win the 10-team girls event.

“That was the lowest team score in the history of the invite,” Blue Devil coach Mike Locati said.

“We also ran without No. 1-runner Rachel Nelson and varsity runner Ashley Cornia, who were taking the ACT.”

On the boys side, Wa-Hi finished eighth of 16 teams with 182 points behind Sean Newcomb’s victory.

For the girls, Wa-Hi sophomore Courtney Cox led the race until the finish to take second on the 2.35-mile course in 14.53.

Cashmere’s Angela Knishka just edged Cox for the win one second faster.

Blue Devil juniors Hannah Hampson was third in 15:06, Catherine Feistner fourth in 15:11, and Lea Davidson eighth in 15:19.

Sophomores Emily Leinweber was 19th in 16:38, and Haley Peterson 41st 17:55.

Junior Perla Villegas was 46th in 18:41.

“We are so excited about the girls this season,” Locati said. “They started off on a great note with the win this weekend. All of the returners were typically 10-20 seconds or more faster than last year and that bodes well at this point.

“We’ll be able to test ourselves and see were we are next weekend as we head to Seattle for the Sundodger Invitational,” he said. “We should have everyone back. Our goal is to stay healthy and motivated. It’s still very early and it’s about being our best in November.”

The Wa-Hi boys were missing their top runner Ben Wolpert and potential varsity runner Tyler Morrison.

The Blue Devils were led by Sean Newcomb, who won the event by shaving five seconds off the meet record held by J.P. Wolpert in 11:50.

Wa-Hi senior Zack Telfer was 38th in 13:32. Junior Danny Butler was next at 39th in 13:33, sohonore Lucas Lareau 53rd in 13:52, junior Jacob Leinweber 58th in 13:57, and sophomore Micah Wilwand 67th in 14:10.

“I am very pleased with the results on the boys end,” Locati said. “We may not be as strong as a team, but all of these boys are young and have worked very hard over the summer to improve. Some of these young men improved up to a minute from previous years’ times.

“I am excited to also see how they continue to do over the course of the season,” he said. “When we get Ben (Wolpert) back that will help us a great deal as both Sean and Ben will be top contenders in the league this year.”

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