WENATCHEE-For the first time since 1993, the whole Tonasket girls’ cross country team is going to the state competition after the district meet in Walla Walla Point Park in on Thursday, Oct. 30.
“The girls were first up in the battle for state on a three mile course, with only the top two teams and first 10 individuals qualifying to go on to the state championship meet in Pasco,” Bob Thornton, head coach, said.
“In a race that included two teams that were ranked among the top ten in state, it was going to be an uphill battle for the Tonasket girls to make state having placed fourth the week before at the league meet,” said the coach.
Thornton said Jessica Spear and Veronica Puente ran together almost the entire race, helping each other finish in seventh place and eighth place, respectively, at 20:44 and 20:49. Right behind them were Adeena Cleman and Amy Johnson, finishing in 12th and 15th places at 21:37 and 21:47. Adrianna Sharp finished in 35th place as the fifth team member at 25:56 and Tonasket beat Omak by one point and Cascade by two points to finish in second place and qualify for the state meet.
“The girls ran an incredibly awesome race. All the coaches there were impressed with how well they ran,” Thornton said. “The last time the whole girls team went to state was in 1993 when coach Angie Bolich was running. When the girls were told that, one of them was heard to comment ‘that was the year I was born’.”
For the boys race, the top three teams and first ten individuals qualified for the state in a regional meet between districts six and seven.
“Once again, it was a very fast race because it included the top runners in the state,” Thornton said. “Freshman Damon Halvorsen proved again that he can run with the best in the state. He ran a good steady race the whole way and placed ninth to qualify for state.”
Matt Gschiel finished in 29th place at 18:23, Kellen Sauer finished in 40th place at 19:24 with Peter Williams right behind him in 41st place at 19:28 and Corey McCrarey finishing four seconds later in 42nd place at 19:32.
“The rest of the guys ran well but we were not able to pull off the upset that the girls did,” Thornton said. “They are a young team and will only get better as we get more experience at racing.”
The state meet is in Pasco on Saturday, Nov. 8. The girls race begins at 10:30 a.m. and the boys begin at noon.