Crosspoint runs to school history

Molly Wheeler (front) helped the Crosspoint girls to fifth at state. - Photo by David  Reichel
Molly Wheeler (front) helped the Crosspoint girls to fifth at state.
— image credit: Photo by David Reichel

The wind was as stiff as the competition.

So when Carlie Rouse crossed the finish line on a blustery morning last weekend at the Class 1B/2B state cross country championships in Pasco, the next move was natural.

A smile.

“It was the happiest I’ve ever seen her at the end of a race,” coach Sue Sheline said. “She left it all on the course.”

The Crosspoint Academy senior clocked a time of 21 minutes, 22 seconds to secure 15th place, leading the Lady Warriors to their highest team finish in school history — fifth.

A multi-sport athlete, Rouse raced in the state championships as both a sophomore and junior. Her personal-best at state had been 21:35, a mark she set last year.

“She was really pleased with her race,” Sheline said.

Sophomore counterpart Molly Wheeler, who finished 17th, also posted a personal state-best (21:29) to top her 21:48 of 2008.

The Lady Warriors finished with 132 points, just behind fourth-place St. George’s (128). Northwest Christian of Lacey won the championship with 28 points, followed by runner-up White Pass (86) and third-place Northwest Christian of Colbert (87).

Sophomore Elise Peterson ran a personal-best (22:50) to finish 39th. And junior Breyenne Mosey, who finished 50th, also ran a PR (23:53).

“I wasn’t sure how they were going to place going in,” Sheline said of the girls team. “They loved the race, they thought it was phenomenal.”

Russell Melin guided the boys to 308 points and 14th place. The lanky freshman finished 20th (17:59), but his time was 10 seconds slower than his performance at districts.

Sheline pointed to both the wind — runners faced it head-on going into the second mile and at the finish line — and inexperience as Melin’s biggest hurdles.

The experience, however, should pay dividends next season and beyond. He also was the top finisher amongst 2B freshman.

“I think the pressure got to him a little bit,” Sheline said. “But I think he learned from it, and the boys are already talking about getting back (to state) next year.”

Northwest Christian of Lacey earned the boys championship with 83 points, topping Republic (95) and Mossyrock (118).

The Warriors return their top seven runners in 2010. Three will be sophomores and the other four seniors, giving the team a blend of experience, youth and potential.

The girls lose Rouse, but return the majority of the squad, and Sheline hopes to see a few new faces turn out.

“They had a great season,” Sheline said. “They ran their guts out, which is all you can ask for.”

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