West Grand girls qualify for state back-to-back, Wilkinson sets new school record

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photo by Deborah Hast | I tried to look up who these kids were, but couldn't differentiate with confidence. All the CX girls wear glasses!!!
photo by Deborah Hast | I tried to look up who these kids were, but couldn't differentiate with confidence. All the CX girls wear glasses!!!

by Coach Ryan Trippichio

It might be known by some coaches in the state as the “Confluence Speedway” but there’s no denying that running at Confluence Park in Delta is a fun, fast affair. And it was at the park that the West Grand girls cross country qualified for state in back-to-back years, the first time in the history of the program. Junior Samantha Westfahl led the charge for the girls with a 20:57 performance, good for 5th overall, with teammate Joy Hast placing 15th with a 21:57 time on the 5k (3.1 mile) course. Sophomore Allura Luna continued her renaissance season with a 23:01 time, placing 24th and clinching a 4th place team finish for the Mustangs (more on that later.) Junior Danielle Demattos had an excellent comeback late in the season, coming back with a 25:20 finish time, running with senior Jessica Gregory for the early part of the race, the latter of whom missed her career PR by only 14 seconds, running a season best 26:24. Sophomore Lillie Steinle rounded out the Mustangs, running a career best 29:21 as she has completed her conversion from sea level running.

On the boys side, excitement abounded. Sophomore Galen Wilkinson put a cherry on top of what was already an excellent season, placing 11th overall, running a career best 18:55.47, and setting a new school record on the boys side (the previous record was held by current West Grand student, Jose Rosas, in 19:00.37, set in 2018.) Fellow teammate and freshman Henry Westfahl is showing a bright future, running a career best 19:24 and placing 21st, missing state qualifying by only 6 places. Junior Tylor Ususan also had a strong finish to what has been a difficult season, running 22:45 to close out his 2019 campaign.

Because the girls team placed 4th overall they will advance to the state meet in Colorado Springs this weekend on October 26th. What is of note is that while they placed 4th only 4 points separated the 1st and 4th place teams (cross country scores are determined by the place in which they finish, lowest score wins) making this an unusually close result (this would be akin to a last second field goal in football or a 5th set in volleyball going more than 30 points long) On the boys side, because Galen placed in the top 15 individuals he will also be advancing to the state meet this weekend. There will be a send off for the team on Friday, October 25th at noon from the high school. Galen will compete on Saturday, October 26th at 9 AM while the girls will race at 10:20 AM. We look forward to seeing everyone for the send off and cannot thank our community for supporting us this season. Go Mustangs!

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