7 qualify for national Junior Olympic meet

By JIM WALLER Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jul 12 2011, 10:02 AM

Seven Oak Harbor athletes qualified for the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships by placing in the top five in their events at the regional competition at Spokane Falls Community College last weekend.

The seven will trek to Wichita, Kan., for the national meet July 26 to 31.

Adrianna Royal and Hannah Bressler, competing for the Federal Way Track Club; Alex Laiblin, running unattached; and Laura Rodeheffer, John Rodeheffer, Christina Wicker and Dakota Powers, members of the Whidbey Island Running Club, earned spots in the national meet.

Royal, a 2011 Oak Harbor High School graduate who will compete for Sacramento State next year, ran as an exhibition runner because she had previously qualified for the national meet. Although not an official placer, she led the field in the 2,000 steeple chase and 1,500 and placed fourth in the 800.

Bressler, a senior-to-be at OHHS, finished first in the young women's (17/18) 2,000 steeplechase (7:58.38) and fourth in the 800 (2:30.37).

Sophomore-to-be Laiblin ran to second in the intermediate girls (15/16) 3,000 (11:52.11) and 1,500 (5:20.3).

Wicker led the WIRC participants by winning the intermediate girls 800 (2:26.09) and 2,000 steeplechase (7:41.1) and placing second in the 400 (1:00.05).

John Rodeheffer (15/16 boys) added to the Oak Harbor dominance in the steeplechase by winning in 7:13.4; he was second in the 3,000 (9:37.77).

Laura Rodeheffer (11/12 girls) was third in the 1,500 (5:19.03) and fourth in the 800 (2:39.48).

Powers took fourth in the 3,000 (10:31.36).

Carolynn Wicker (11/12 girls) missed a national berth by .11 seconds by placing sixth in the 800 (2:40.58). She ran 10th in the 1,500 (5:50.24).

Caleb Thompson (13/14 boys) trimmed 12 seconds from his previous best in the 1,500 (5:27.1) to earn WIRC's Most Improved of the Meet award.

Jaida Mason, 7, endured over eight hours of competition in three events and a re-run to earn the WIRC Athlete of the Meet award. She competed in the 100 (18.28), 400 (1:31.80) and long jump (1.75 meters).

Other WIRC participants:

Harrison Keating (7/8 boys): 800, 3:20.20.

Catherine Wicker (9/10 girls): long jump, 2.32m.

Micah Thompson (9/10 boys): turbo javelin, 9.25m.

Kaitlyn Chelberg (11/12 girls): 100, 14.38.

Michael Fisken (11/12 boys): shot put, 6.39m, turbo javelin, 22.54m.

Mallorie Mitchem (13/14 girls): 800, 2:40.94.

Jonalynn Horn (13/14 girls): 3,000, 12:37.54.

Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller can be reached at jwaller@whidbeynewsgroup.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.