Runners Participating In State Meet Saturday
These are busy times for North Side athletes now hurtling into the post-season.
Cross country runners compete in the state meet this Saturday in Pasco. A bevy of North Siders helped Spokane reinforce its reputation as the state’s distance hotbed.
Of the 15 individual boys qualifiers, 12 are from the Greater Spokane League and eight from North Side schools.
Included are Jason Fayant, who finished second in the district meet, fourth-place Ryan Wiser and sixth-place Morgan Thompson from team champion Mead.
Casey Perry of Shadle Park completed his break-through season with a third-place district finish, just five seconds behind Fayant and 23 seconds out of the lead.
North Central and Rogers had two qualifiers apiece. Indian seniors Jon Caballero and Justin Hill finished fifth and seventh, up from last year’s seventh and 14th place state qualifying efforts.
Pirate seniors Cameron Hatch and Joey Thornton placed ninth and 15th. Thornton last year ran 71st, his time last Saturday nearly a two-minute improvement.
Mead is after a ninth straight state championship.
The Panther girls also have qualified for state with a third-place regional finish.
They were led by Katie Pollock and Kelley Mattingly who placed fifth and 15th respectively.
Fourth state trips for Northeast A duo
A pair of Northeast A girls have qualified for state for the fourth straight year: Deer Park’s Jaime Stone, who finished second in district, and Lakeside’s Lindsey McElroy, who was third.
Stone has been a top five finisher all four years, twice placing third.
McElroy improved each year, finishing ninth, sixth, fourth her three previous districts.
“We knew we’d get a great year out of Lindsey,” said coach Matt Sullivan. “She ran tough Wednesday. Those three are top-10 kids at state.”
In the Frontier League, Riverside’s boys crossed up their coach, Bill Kemp.
Kemp said at the beginning of the season that the balance of power was shifting away from his boys to the girls team.
But it was the Ram boys who placed second in league and district to qualify for the school’s first State AA meet.
District winner Jon Ashcraft and eighth-placer Bill Warner led Riverside which finished five points ahead of West Valley for the berth.
Ashcraft, who had fallen and finished behind two WV runners in their dual meet the week before, ran away from them for a 19-second victory.
The girls finished third this year, both in league and district.
Mead, Rogers in volleyball regional
This weekend Mead and Rogers volleyball teams are involved in the state-qualifying regional.
On Friday, the Panthers play Big Nine runner-up Pasco at University High and the Pirates play champion Davis at Central Valley. Both games are 8:30 p.m.
The tournament continues Saturday at 10 and 11:30 a.m. at the two sites. Three teams qualify for state in Spokane.
During last week’s district playoffs Rogers rallied to eliminate Gonzaga Prep and Mead beat Central Valley to qualify for regionals.
After losses to top seeds Ferris and Lewis and Clark respectively, the Panthers beat the Pirates in three games for third and fourth seeds.
In conjunction with the AAA regionals, Northeast A state qualifying will take place at CV.
Deer Park, which finished fourth in league, plays fifth-place Lakeside at 2 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.
Gridders prep for playoffs
Mead’s league champions and Shadle Park are already qualified for the expanded state football playoffs.
The Panthers stay home for the first round against Big Nine’s fourth-place finisher. The Highlanders can too with a win in Friday’s GSL season finale against North Central.
It would mean a second-place finish, something coach Mark Hester couldn’t talk about last week.
But Thursday’s 49-21 victory over University that featured 378 rushing yards and touchdowns by five different players, set up the possibility.