KENNEWICK — Courtney Cox led Walla Walla High School harriers with a second-place finish at the Mid-Columbia Conference cross country meet at Lawrence Scott Park here on Thursday.
Cox finished in 17:43.3, behind Richland’s Lindsey Bradley, who finished the three-mile course in 17:22.9.
The Blue Devil girls picked up victories over Hanford, 23-35; Kamiakin, 19-39; Richland, 24-34; and Southridge, 19-39.
For the Wa-Hi boys, Juan Cortez led the way in eighth with a time of 15:36.3.
Richland’s Michael Williams won in 14:48.2.
The Blue Devil boys garnered team wins over Hanford, 21-34; Pasco, 18-45; Chiawana, 15-46; and Southridge, 18-39.
Blue Devils coach Mike Locati was pleased with the efforts of both of his teams in general and a pair of freshmen, Alex Ibern and Erika Leinweber, in particular.
Ibern turned in a time of 16:19.8 that was good for 16th in the field and third among Wa-Hi runners. Leinweber clocked 18:50.8 to finish ninth overall and third on the team.
“Nobody on the team ran poorly, but Alex was a real surprise on the boys side,” Locati said. “He is the lone freshman on the boys team and we challenged him in workout and he responded. He moved up from sixth to third place, and part of the boys’ success is a direct result of Alex moving up.
“Ericka hasn’t been a scorer on the girls’ team,” Locati added. “But she ended up third and was only five seconds behind our second-place runner. Like Alex, she was a big denominator for us.”
Following Cox were a quartet of Wa-Hi girls in Hannah Hampson (eighth, 18:45.2), Leinweber (ninth, 18:50.8), Lea Davidson (10th, 18:53.3) and Catherine Feistner (11th, 19:01.1).
Jenny Wall (14th, 19:12.0) and Emily Leinweber (33rd, 21:03.5) rounded out the Blue Devil girls field.
Isaac Mata was the next Wa-Hi boy across the line after Cortez, finishing in 16:02.1). Mata was followed byIbern (16th, 16:19.8), Jacob Leinweber (18th, 16:26.1), Michael Anderson (20th, 16:36.3), Micah Wilwand (31st, 17:07.7) and Keaton Sullivan (34th, 17:24.2) rounded out the Blue Devil boys field.
The Blue Devils next head to the district meet hosted by Hanford at Leslie Grove Park in Richland on Thursday.