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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cross country notebook: District races on tap in Washington; Boys 3A race packed with drama

By Greg Lee For The Spokesman-Review

Of the six District 8 cross country races on Saturday, one has the potential to be a shootout – however that would be measured in cross country terms.

The other five will carry much less drama when the Greater Spokane League and Mid-Columbia Conference 4A and 3A boys and girls teams and the GSL 2A boys and girls teams gather at Wandermere Golf Course to decide state berths.

The race that should be the most entertaining is the 3A boys.

More on that later.

To fans planning to attend the races , be forewarned: Parking is limited at the golf course.

The 4A meets get things going. The girls go at 1 p.m., followed by the boys 30 minutes later.

The Kamiakin boys and girls and Lewis and Clark boys and girls are the teams favored to secure the two state team berths. The top 14 individuals advance to state.

The 3A meets begin at 2 with the girls race, followed 30 minutes later by the boys.

In the girls race, Mead is favored, with Ferris and Mt. Spokane expected to earn state berths. The top three teams in the boys and girls races and the top 21 finishers secure state berths.

The race of the day will be in the boys. Cheney, Mt. Spokane, North Central and Hermiston (Oregon) all could challenge for trophies at state, but one will be left at home.

The final district races feature the 2A teams. They feature GSL teams only and is not a glue-in meet.

The top two boys and girls teams advance to state along with the top 14 finishers.

State will be held at its usual site, Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, on Nov. 4.

Back to 3A boys

The GSL’s 3A teams were separated by a handful of points, and Cheney coach Derek Slaughter said that Hermiston is capable of keeping a GSL team home.

Each GSL team has its distinctive strengths. Mt. Spokane is led by the 1-2 punch of Kade Brownell and Parker Westermann; Cheney, after talented leader Calvin Hilton, has the best pack; and NC’s brother duo of Maicah and Levi Aden must be dealt with.

Mt. Spokane lost out on a GSL championship when it fell to Lewis and Clark 27-29. It’s the lone loss the Wildcats suffered.

Mt. Spokane coach Scott Daratha hopes his team learned from the setback.

“The loss to Lewis and Clark opened the eyes for some of the guys,” Daratha said. “You can’t go through the motions to be the best team.

“So we refocused, particularly the seniors. We’ve improved quite a bit as a team and feeling good heading into the district race.”

Daratha said it won’t be a secret if his team wins Saturday.

“Cheney has the depth,” Daratha said. “It’s going to come down to what our No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 guys do that day. It should be a pretty good race.”

“It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out,” Slaughter said. “We are the team with the best spread one through five. In a championship race, that might give us an edge. Our pack has to be solid. That is how we’re going to succeed.”

Small schools battle

Area 1A and 2B/1B boys and girls teams gather at Chewelah Golf Course on Friday to decide state berths.

Lakeside’s girls and Chewelah’s boys won state titles last year.

The race schedule: 2B/1B girls, noon; 2B/1B boys, 12:45 p.m.; 1A girls, 1:15; and 1A boys, 2.

Idaho heads to state

The Idaho state meets are Saturday at the Portneuf Wellness Center in Pocatello. As expected, the Coeur d’Alene boys were perfect at their district meet, finishing 1-7.

How they did it, though, caused a few raised eyebrows. They finished from first through seven within 3 seconds of each other


“There was a bit of a strategy that the boys came up with,” CdA coach Cathy Compton said.

“They wanted their seventh-best runner, Kyle Rohlinger, to win. It was really cool.”

Rohlinger won in 16 minutes, 37.6 seconds.

The CdA boys, ranked 10th in the nation by Dyestat, are heavily favored to take state.

The top four teams in each race earn trophies and the top 20 individuals earn medals.