Richland girls nab team cross country hardware by finishing 4th

November 3, 2012 

Richland coach Jay Bartlett had a big dose of “way to go” for the Bombers girls after they placed fourth at Saturday’s Washington State Cross Country Championships at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

“With having a lot of girls who have never been here before, and having our No. 1 runner sick three days with the flu and not knowing if she could run, it’s about as well as we could finish,” Bartlett said, calling it a “feather in their cap.”

“I’m proud of the girls. We were beat by three really good teams.”

Camas won the 4A title with 50 points, bumping up this season after winning the 3A championship. Tahoma (103) and Bellarmine Prep (129) were clear 2-3 finishers, and Richland (180) beat out former league rival Eisenhower by 10 points.

That the Bombers placed so well with top runner Lindsey Bradley, a strong contender for a top-five finish, barely out of a sick bed spoke volumes about the team’s depth.

Bradley finished 24th in 19 minutes, 8.1 seconds, and Lauren Perry 28th (19:10.8), followed by Sidney Bullock (58th), Kinzie Icayan (78th) and Samantha Bagley (88th).

The area’s top performer in the race was Walla Walla sophomore Courtney Cox, who placed 18th running solo for the Blue Devils. “We’re really happy,” said Bullock, adding that Bradley was “a beast for going out and doing that.”

It could have been another disappointing state finish for the Richland girls, who had trophy hopes during a five-year stretch from 2005-09 but never finished better than seventh.

Instead, they gutted out the team’s first trophy since winning it all in 1993.

“We all worked really good together,” said Bullock, one of five non-seniors who scored for Richland. “This year we did awesome as a team, and we’re definitely looking forward to next year.”

On the boys side, Wa-Hi senior Sean Newcomb earned a podium finish, placing 15th in 15:48.6. Junior teammate Ben Wolpert was 26th (16:03.5), while Richland junior Michael Williams was 70th (16:31.5).

“I’m pretty happy I made it here,” Newcomb said, adding he had his eye on at least a top-10 finish. “I may not have gotten exactly what I wanted, but I’m pretty happy.

In the 3A boys race, Hanford senior Jeevan Philip placed 28th (16:11.9), while Southridge had a pair of nice finishes on the girls side with sophomore Emily Kump (21st, 19:29.2) and senior Leslie Olsen (27th, 19:38.2). Hanford senior Amy Pfaff finished 37th (19:47.3).

w Kevin Anthony: 582-1403; kanthony@tricityherald.com

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