XC: Cougars hosting bi-distict meet

Brookover, Oman, Haden and Ilari looking for state berth

By Geno Ludwig/The Independent Staff

The course at the Chewelah Golf and Country Club will have its ups and downs this Thursday for the District 7 Cross-Country Championships, but for the Cougar runners, the entire 3.1-mile race will be an uphill challenge. In order to place among those who will continue their season in Pasco, every Chewelah runner must run the fastest time of their lives. The Northeast A League contains some of the best class-A runners in the state, so the Cougars will have to trim minutes off their times in order to be amid those who will move on to the state meet at Sun Willows.

The three top teams from both the girls’ and the boys’ divisions will qualify for the state finale, plus the fastest 21 runners from each division.
Therefore, the fastest of the Chewelah runners have a chance to advance if they run their best race of the season.

For the Chewelah boys, Grant Brookover and Carl Oman both have a dark horse chance of earning a ticket to the state meet. For the Cougar girls, Liandra Haden and Beatrice Ilari are both in the running. However, there are a limited number of tickets, and they do not want to get to the finish line after they are all given away.

Brookover enters Thursday’s district meet with his team’s only time under 18 minutes for the season. He has run a 17:55, and he is ranked 26th among league runners. Six of those league runners have posted times under 17 minutes, with the fastest time being a 16:01.

Oman also has a chance to make the cut, but he is going to have to run the race of his life to do so. His best time this year is 18:33, which places him 36th in the latest league standings.

Haden has the best chance to qualify for the Cougar girls. She has run the 5,000-meter course in 21:40, and is now ranked 21st among league runners. The fastest girls’ time this season is 19:01.

Ilari is 32nd on the league ladder with a season-best time of 22:58.

Although the league chose the Chewelah golf course for the event, it will be hosted by Medical Lake. The 3.1-mile route—5,000 meters—will be laid out by Cougar athletic director Rocky Verbeck, but the remainder of the meet’s activities will be handled by the Cardinals.

The course will be laid out with a goal to make it as visible to spectators as possible.

Medical Lake is the favorite to take top honors in the boys’ race, with Deer Park and Lakeside being the prominent challengers. In the girls’ competition, Deer Park is the favorite, with Colville and Lakeside predicted to be the closest rivals for the district title.

The meet begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 27).