RICHLAND — Walla Walla High School's cross country teams were successful running the Mid-Columbia Conference Championships here Thursday, Oct. 21, at Lesle Grove Park.

Brody Hartley bested the boys' 5-kilometer race while the Blue Devils placed second as a team with Turner VanSlyke finishing sixth, Gabriel Corum 14th, Om Nair 18th, Sam Bobrow-Strain 21st, and Tas Grimm 26th.

Meanwhile the Wa-Hi girls had Sariah Hepworth placing second in their run while they were third as a team with Emmalyne Jimenez ninth, Stella Billingsley 13th, Claire Dorland 17th, and Ava Nelson 20th.

"Both the boys and girls did a good job today," Blue Devils coach Mike Locati said. "They competed well and continued to improve on their season times."

The Blue Devils will next run districts Oct. 30 in Spokane at Wandermere Golf Course with the top three teams and the best 21 individuals qualifying for state the following weekend in Pasco.

Wa-Hi looks to stay strong after several quality performances here

"We had some really good efforts," Locati said. "We talk about sticking your neck out and taking some chances which may result in a breakthrough. Some did just that today.

"They went out a little faster than normal or ran with a different pack. Those risks sometimes work out and other times not, but you have to be willing to do it to make a breakthrough. I was proud of them.

"Brody won his first district title, which was cool for him, and Sariah's second place was a nice way for her to finish her last senior district race," Locati said. "Next week's race in Spokane will be the golden ticket to the state meet. Both of them should punch through and then we'll see what happens.

"They are running really well at this time in the season and the next couple weeks will be fun.

"Emmalyne came back to run today after missing last week's race," Locati added. "She shook off the rust and was able to have a solid race today. She is right on the border and with a good race next week we'll see if she can also make her way to state."

Hector writes stories about local sports, helps produce the daily section and updates the web site. A lifelong sports nut having grown up in Maryland, he joined the U-B with more than 15 years experience in journalism.

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