Wednesday, October 26, 2005

State is next goal for Wolverine runners

Girls go as a team, plus Sundali

Trevor Sundali and Ashley Rendahl take a breather after Friday's conference footrace at Sun Valley Gun Club. Both Wood River runners are headed to state championships at Eagle Island State Park. Photo by Michael Ames From left, Maddie Cordovano and Meggie Rose race to the finish on Friday at the Sun Valley Gun Club. Photo by Michael Ames

The Great Basin Conference state qualifying meet had 173 cross-country athletes from seven regional high schools running the five-kilometer (3.1 mile) Sun Valley Gun Club course this past Friday, Oct. 21.

For Wood River runners, the day brought both triumphs and disappointments.

The Hailey girls' cross-country team qualified for the upcoming State 4A championships as five girls finished in the top 30 and the team finished third overall with 91 points.

The outcome wasn't as encouraging for the Wolverine boys' team. They finished fifth as a team with 99 points—out of the running to qualify in the top half of all teams and make the state trip in that manner.

Hailey's top finisher, Taylor Sundali (18:25), was the only Wood River boy to qualify as an individual for state.

"Taylor in fifth was awesome," said co-coach Joel Zellers. Zellers expressed both pride and regret over various aspects of his teams' Friday performances.

Ashley Rendahl was the fastest Wolverine girl in fifth place overall of 75 runners in 22:16. "She did everything we told her to do, so that's perfect," said Zellers on race day.

Most impressive to the coaches was how consistently faster Wood River runners had become since the last home meet at the Gun Club Sept. 8.

"It's just amazing what they did," said Zellers.

Sundali and teammate Gerardo Garcia each bettered their previous times by over a minute each. For the girls Trish McLaughlin showed the largest improvement, shaving a full three minutes off her last performance for a 26:33 finish.

Rosie Gilchrist was perhaps the biggest surprise at 15th. Her 23:37 finish was nearly a minute and a half faster than her September time.

Junior Tess Dahlgren along with freshmen Maddie Cordovano and Meggie Rose were also important to the success of the girls' team, finishing at 20th, 25th and 26th respectively.

As the girls prepare for state, Zellers thinks they will be tested at Eagle Island.

"There are some very difficult schools," he said. With a flat course to run though, he thinks that Rendahl's strategy will be to "go all out" and that if everything comes together, the Wolverines have a chance to do exceptionally well.

The State 4A footrace is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29 at Eagle Island State Park west of Boise. The 4A girls start their 3.1-mile trek at 11:30 a.m. followed at 12:30 p.m. Saturday by the 4A boys.

Results from Sun Valley Gun Club:

Girls' team standings: 1—Pocatello 56. 2—Jerome 68. 3—Wood River 91. 4—Century 94. 5—Preston. 6—Burley. 7—Minico.

Top girls: 1—Stephanie Johnson (Burley) 21:05. 5—Ashley Rendahl 22:16. 15—Rosie Gilcrist 23:37. 20—Tess Dahlgren 24:23. 25—Maddie Cordovano 24:32. 26—Meggie Rose 24:33. 46—Trish McLaughlin 26:33. 57—Georgia Theis 28:42. 61—Kat Pettengil 29:55. 62—Aimee Loudenslager 29:57. 64—Melissa Fischman, 30:15 (75 runners).

Boys' team standings: 1—Burley 56. 2—Century 65. 3—Pocatello 71. 4—Jerome 72. 5—Wood River 99. 6—Minico and Preston 171.

Top boys: 1—Bennett Grimes (Century) 17:21. 5—Taylor Sundali 18:25. 19—Gerardo Garcia 19:36. 20—J.D. Hill 19:39. 26—Nick Purdy 20:16. 29—Pedro Morales 20:24. 46—Cole Wells 21:13. 47—Sam Colesworthy 21:23. 49—Bryce Moulton 21:33. 52—Drew Anderson 21:43. 53—Joe Zeman 21:47. 54—Kyle Niedrich 21:48. 58—Zack Thornton 22:03. 69—Kurtis Fieguth 22:51. 71—Brad Dobie 23:16. 72—Ted Elgee 23:20. 73—Rob Paris 23:21. 76—Clay Johnson 23:36. 77—Greg LeBlanc 23:38. 82—Brandon Baertschi 24:36. 84—Hans Howard 24:56. 85—Dan Henry 25:02. 86—John David Davidson 25:04. 95—Josh Ricsi 26:32 (8 runners).

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