Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Runners aim for state on White Clouds trail

GBC meet in Sun Valley

Wood River High School cross country runners are staying home today. They’re eager to race at their familiar high altitude with the hope they can take a long trip to northern Idaho next weekend.

The Wolverine thinclads coached by Monte Brothwell and Heather Miller are hosting the six-team Great Basin Conference 4th District Championship 3.1-mile race today, Wednesday. The new course is located along the White Clouds Golf Course nine-hole layout of Sun Valley Resort.

Last held on the Sun Valley Golf Course in 1981, the district cross country meet qualifies runners for the Idaho High School Activities Association’s State 4A race Saturday, Oct. 27 at Hells Gate in Lewiston.

The girls’ race begins at 4 p.m. followed by the boys’ state-qualifying footrace. Earning state trips are the top three teams, out of the six GBC entrants, along with the top one-third of individual finishers.

A hilly course, the White Clouds loop begins about 6,000 feet elevation, rising to 6,225 feet in the first mile. It descends quickly, but offers a few more ups-and-downs before coming to the finish. Spectators with binoculars will enjoy some good sight lines.

There will be new conference champions this year since 2011 winners Erik Harris of Twin Falls and Mikesell Clegg of Jerome graduated.

Of the returning Wolverines, top conference finishers in 2011 were current sophomore Alex Gonzalez (9th) and senior Chase England (10th) and current junior Janel Passey (18th).

Highest-ranked GBC teams among 4A schools in the latest Gem State survey are Burley (boys) and Jerome (girls, ranked 2nd to Preston).

Those teams are the reigning GBC team champs—Burley’s boys winning 39-51 over Twin Falls last October at Twin Falls Golf Course, with Wood River fourth, and Jerome’s girls beating Twin Falls 32-40, and Wood River fourth.

Meanwhile, 3A/2A/1A runners from the district including those from the Community School are competing for state berths today at 2 p.m. at Gooding Golf Course.

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