Whitney on fast track for 2012 cross country season

Dodge wins girls varsity at invitational
By: Amanda Calzada/Placer Herald Correspondent
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With a 20-second lead, Whitney High’s Jenica Dodge won the Whitney Invitational Cross Country varsity girls race last Thursday night for the second consecutive year. The meet was held at the William Jessup University course. “There were a lot of hills and I went up those pretty easily,” said the junior with a smile. Her time of 19 minutes was also 20 seconds ahead her 2011 time. River Valley’s Leanne Jarvis placed second. Wildcats’ Megan Hall and Taelor Hatch finished fifth and 12th respectively at 20:24 and 22:03. The team’s efforts placed Whitney third at 55 total points among the 20 schools competing. Roseville finished first at 41 and Cordova second at 49 points. Whitney’s junior varsity girls also came in strong with a first-place finish to claim the girls JV title. Freshman Nicole Wellington won the 2-mile race in 13:41 and teammates Jordan Sienkiawicz (13:42) and Ozora Cheek (13:56) were second and third respectively. That gave Whitney a decisive 28-point victory over Placer High’s second-place 77. The Wildcats’ JV boys came in third behind Placer with 100 points. Eric Leverenz finished fifth at 11:39 while teammate Spencer Biliyeu crossed the line in seventh at 11:43. “It felt good for being so early in the season,” said Leverenz, who added that he knows he can do better. The varsity boys race was perhaps the best snapshot of what will come this season. The Wildcats Ryan Hodgens finished second at 15:42, two seconds behind Roseville’s Neilson Powless. “You had to run some parts conservatively so you didn’t trip,” said Hodgens, who said the darkness could have induced injuries. The meet was held in the evening so the runners wouldn’t have to race in the heat, Whitney head coach Mark Snow explained. Last year, the invite was in the afternoon. “We’ve been on this trail a lot. It’s nice and cool and it’s something different,” said Whitney’s Faith Gottenberg, who finished ninth in the junior varsity girls race at 14:38. Roseville won the varsity boys division with 59 points and Whitney followed in second place with 60 points. Whitney also held the invite a month earlier in this year’s season than 2011’s. Twenty schools competed at Jessup’s course, nine more than last year’s count. ROCKLIN The Rocklin Thunder cross-country teams recently returned from their annual Labor Day weekend trip to Camp Winthers in Soda Springs. Rocklin head coach Dan Pereira said the camp course, arguably one of the toughest to run, prepares the team for the Sierra Foothill League. “The competition will be just as tough this year,” Pereira said, “and every team in the SFL is excellent. So I can’t pinpoint one team.” Pereira said no one person is leading the team given the depth that runs in about 10 spots on each squad. However, the Thunder does have a standout performer in George Miao. Forty-six Thunder runners competed at the Sac State Hornet Jamboree this past weekend. The team captains are Sabrina Wilson, Heidi Greenwood, Ty Medd, and Connor Hensley. Rocklin has its first league meet Sept. 12 at Willow Hills Reservoir Course in Folsom. The Folsom course was added to the league last year and is known to be a challenge. “It has everything you want in a cross-country course,” said Pereira. Whitney High School 2012 Cross Country Invitational William Jessup University Varsity Girls (3 mile) – 46 runners Winning Time 19:00 1 Jenica Dodge (Jr) 5 Megan Hall (Sr) 20:24 12 Taelor Hatch (Jr) 22:03 35 Carolina Morris (Sr) 25:59 43 Molly Miles (Sr) 27:37 Varsity Boys (3 mile) – 99 runners Winning Time 15:40 2 Ryan Hodgens (Sr) 15:42 3 Nathan Wellington (Jr) 15:50 4 Jacob Zufelt (Sr) 15:57 16 Taylor Bradshaw (Sr) 17:27 38 Nicholas Pulido (Jr) 18:41 JV Girls (2 mile) – 70 runners Winning Time 13:41 1 Nicole Wellington (Fr) 2 Jordan Sienkiawicz (Fr) 13:42 3 Ozora Cheek (Fr) 13:56 9 Faith Gottenbert (So) 14:38 13 Haley Ellis (So) 14:55 JV Boys (2 mile) – 136 runners Winning Time 11:05 5 Eric Leverenz (So) 11:39 7 Spencer Biliyeu (Fr) 11:43 22 nick Rubelcava (Fr) 12:16 30 Grant Waters (So) 12:32 36 Taylor Nguyen (Fr) 12:37