Running in the Class 2A state cross country meet, the White River High girls placed 12th at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. The entire team had qualified for Saturday’s state competition by virtue of a district championship a week earlier.
Senior Makayla Melcher paced the squad at state, just as she did during the regular season. She placed 33rd in the 2A field with a time of 20 minutes, 8 seconds. Also running for the Hornets were senior Tori Goodrich, 78th, with a time of 21:16.60; freshman Kelcie Melcher, 87th, 21:16.90; freshman Soleil Bianchi, 96th, 21:49.10; sophomore Maria Hawthorne, 100th, 22:00.40; senior Jessica Taylor, 104th, 22:01.50; and junior Lucy Starkel, 131st, 22:40.
A pair of Whiter River boys had earned state trips.
Junior Nathan Chaussee crossed the line in 17:27.20 to place 108th and senior Tanner Holmes finished in 17:28.90 to place 110th.
The unbeaten White River High girls keep adding to their impressive list of season achievements. After winning a division title and capturing a South Puget Sound League tournament championship, the Hornets won two contests to emerge as the No. 1 seed from district play.
That leaves the Hornets among just 16 teams still in the running for a Class 2A state title.
White River opened state play earlier this week with a loser-out contest (results could not be included here). If the Hornets were victorious, they advance to the quarterfinal round later this week.
White River advanced to the state tourney following a pair of 1-0 victories in district play. A Nov. 5 win over Eatonville was followed by a Nov. 9 victory over the Fife Trojans. The Saturday win, on the turf at Franklin Pierce Stadium, came courtesy of a goal by Ella Lidstrom (assisted by Kinlee Hoffstrom) and a shutout in goal by Katelyn Kelley.
The White River girls find themselves in familiar circles this week, one of just 16 teams heading to the Nov. 15-16 Class 2A state tournament.
The Hornets have not only enjoyed the state experience recently, but found success; a year ago, White River won two of four matches and placed eighth, a year after returning home with a fourth-place state trophy.
While the 16-team, double-elimination format may be familiar, the locale is much different. The Class 2A tourney has been hosted in recent years by St. Martin’s University and that was the plan for this season’s year-end volleyball festival. A scheduling problem was discovered in October, however, leaving the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association scrambling for a new site. A sudden shift found 2A state participants heading to Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
The Hornets will open state play Friday morning with a 9:45 match against Columbia River High. The winner will then take on the victor in a pairing between Cheney and Burlington-Edison; likewise, the two opening-round losers will square off. A victory on opening day assures a team of playing on Saturday while two losses on Friday sends a team home.
White River earned its repeat state trip by placing third in the Nov. 7-9 district tournament. The district journey began with Nov. 7 victories over River Ridge and North Kitsap, both coming at North Mason High School in Belfair. On Saturday, playing at Franklin Pierce High, the Hornets opened with a 3-1 loss to a tough Washington team, then secured third-place honors with a 3-0 victory over Steilacoom.
The win over the Sentinels wasn’t easy, with a final score of 25-12, 27-25, 25-20. Elle Thomas registered 10 kills along the way while Amanda Mahlstedt turned in 63 assists and Kelli Kaelin had 40 digs. The loss to Washington saw the Patriots open with 25-20 and 25-18 victories; White River stayed alive with a 26-24 win but then fell 25-16. Tori Schmidtke had a dozen kills in the loss and Mahlstedt came up with a whopping 77 assists.