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Raider cross country makes great showing at state


LR boys' team runners start the state race alongside Asotin. - submitted photo

Raider cross country finished the 2013 season on a strong note at the state race in Pasco last Saturday.

Raider Head Coach Gary Darnold liked the effort from the boys' team and the two girls competing.

"Both girls and five of the boys PR'd at state, which shows that all of the runners pushed themselves to their maximum," Darnold said.

The Raider boys finished 15th overall with 377 points.

Ray Yazzie again led the Raider boys, finishing with a career 5,000-meter personal record time of 18 minutes, 59 seconds.

Dominick Cotton was second for LR, also finishing with a career PR for 5,000 meters at 19:26.

Third across the line for LR was Coltin Williams, who finished his first cross country season with a career 5,000-meter PR at the state race in 19:58.

Brandon Desautel finished his LR career on a high note crossing the line fourth for the team with a career PR at the state race in 20:10. Fifth to cross the finish for LR was Jerry Palmer, in 20:19, a career PR. Robert George was sixth for LR with the time of 21:13.

The seventh Raider racing at state was Daniel Campobasso, who finished with a time of 22:06.

"Our boys have a very strong group with now having state experience to build on," commented the coach, noting that only two of this year's team are seniors.

The Raider girls were represented by Ashley Palmer and Alexia Hanway. Palmer, in her first year of high school cross country, finished 22nd overall with the career PR time of 21:42. She was the highest placing Raider for the day.

Hanway came in 45th, with the career PR time of 22:55. This was Hanway's second state race and highest finish at state.

Coach Darnold looks to have the girls build on Palmer's state experience next year to again send a girls' team to the state race.

Ashley Palmer, left and Alexia Hanway run for the Raider girls at state.

"I would say all of our runners had breakout seasons as we were unknowns before the season started and ended up with a strong showing at district and state," Darnold said. "Over half of this year's team qualified for state and the excitement of this achievement can be a very positive attitude to carry over to next year."

Darnold also hopes that the returners have learned to work out over the summer to be ready for the season when it starts.

The new classification cycle could bring some changes for cross country at the state level. Locally, of the schools that may come into the league (Okanogan, Brewster, Tonasket, and Entiat) only one has a cross country team. So the Raiders have a strong chance to repeat the success of this season next year in a little-changed Central Washington B League.

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