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Dave Nichols: Don’t forget about West Valley girls cross country

The West Valley girls cross country team finished second in state 2A, led by four sophomores. (Julie Engeland / Courtesy photo)
The West Valley girls cross country team finished second in state 2A, led by four sophomores. (Julie Engeland / Courtesy photo)

Spokane-area schools had a tremendous showing at the state cross country meet on Saturday. As reported in our lengthy recap for Sunday’s paper, we had five area schools and three individual runners win state titles.

Perhaps lost in all that winning was the effort of the West Valley girls team, which received mention for finishing second in the 2A race – just six points behind champion Sehome – in the notes section at the bottom of the article, but not much else.

We heard from several of you that the Eagles, who won the Great Northern League regular season title and District 7 2A meet and are led by coach John Moir, deserved greater attention – and that’s probably the case. I won’t belabor the point of how difficult it is to cover out-of-town high school sports with the resources available in modern journalism.

On top of that, with Washington State football and Gonzaga basketball both playing the same day – plus a full slate of prep postseason football action, the real estate in the print version of the paper was at a premium.

But still, no excuses. West Valley’s effort merited more than six words.

Each of the West Valley girls either set personal or season records in the race. In addition, they placed second for the academic achievement award for 2A as well.

The Eagles were led by Annika Esvelt, who finished 14th overall at 19 minutes, 26.6 seconds. Emma Garza placed 22nd, Jenna Engeland was 27th, and Sadie Langford finished 31st – all within 25 seconds of each other. What’s more, they are all sophomores.

Congratulations ladies on a job well done.


All of the state playoff matchups were set as of Sunday night, but details on the when and where were still largely unavailable, though all games will be played either Friday or Saturday.

Please visit the “Upcoming Games” tab on for up-to-date info on when your favorite teams are playing.

In 4A, Greater Spokane League champion Central Valley (8-1, 5-0) will host Camas (9-1, 3-1 Greater St. Helens) in a first-round matchup. In last week’s media poll, Camas was ranked fourth in state 4A, while CV was eighth.

Gonzaga Prep (8-2, 4-1), ranked ninth in state, will travel to face Moses Lake (7-2, 6-0 Columbia Basin) in the first round.

Mt. Spokane (8-2, 3-1) ranked 10th in state 3A, will host Rainier Beach (7-2, 3-1 Metro-Sound) on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Albi Stadium.

In 2A, fourth-ranked West Valley (11-0, 4-0 Great Northern) hosts Franklin Pierce (6-4, 5-2 South Puget Sound-Mountain), while Pullman (6-3, 3-1) travels to third-ranked Hockinson (9-0, 6-0 Greater St. Helens).

And in Idaho, Coeur d’Alene (8-2, 3-0 Inland Empire) advanced to a 5A semifinal game against Mountain View (10-0, 5-0 Southern Idaho) on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. The teams were ranked tied for first in state 5A in the last Idaho media poll, though CdA received six first-place votes to five for Mountain View.

Girls soccer

Due to the cold and snowy weather, the 4A district title game between No. 1 seed Central Valley and ninth-seeded University was rescheduled to today at 4 p.m. at Central Valley. Both teams move on to state and will play in a first-round game later this week.

In 3A, Mt. Spokane travels to face Lakeside (Seattle) on Tuesday at 4:30 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, while 2A West Valley – which finished fourth in the GNL during the regular season but surprised during district play – hosts Lynden on Wednesday at 3 p.m.


In 4A, undefeated GSL champion Mead takes on Eastmont on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, while 3A District champ Mt. Spokane faces North Thurston on Friday at 8 a.m. at the Toyota Center.

In 2A, East Valley plays Sehome at 9 a.m. and Pullman faces Tumwater at 11 a.m. Both matches are on Friday at St. Martins University in Lacey, Washington.

Second-round matches are later that day.

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