The Wolves hope they have the right mix this season

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - BACK AND RUNNING STRONG -- Kate Intile, who had a strong freshman season, is back for the Tualatin girls team this year. TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School girls cross country team is hoping its has the right mix this season.

The Timberwolves boast a large group of young runners. They also have some proven veterans. And, with that, they have an enthusiastic new coach in Chris McIsaac.

“I’m excited to be coaching the girls cross country team at Tualatin High School,” McIsaac said. “We have a solid group of young runners this season, with 16 of 22 runners being either a freshman or sophomore. The seniors and juniors balance out the group with experience and leadership. We are looking forward to competing in the Three Rivers League.”

The Wolves look to have a strong core of returnees from last year’s squad that took third place in the team standings at the Pacific Conference district meet.

Leading the way for the Tualatin girls will be sophomore Kate Intile, who ran to 13th place in the individual standings at last year’s district meet.

“She will continue to be a leader on this team,” McIsaac said of Intile, who also had a strong freshman track and field season this past spring.

Junior returnee Sarah Krill also ran in varsity competition at last year’s district meet, placing 29th.

Sophomore returnee Nicole Oh also ran in that race as a freshman. Sophomore Mariana Diaz looks to be another key returnee for Tualatin.

“Mariana Diaz, Nicole Oh and Sarah Krill have shown great strides and will play a key role in the success of the team this year,” McIsaac said.

Other returning runners to the Tualatin program include senior Kristen Elder, senior Lucy Gregson, sophomore Catherine Hancock, sophomore Karina Lopuszynski, sophomore Makaylay Rife, sophomore Denali Webber, senior Krista Zobrist and senior Jane Westenhaver.

Seniors Jane Westenhaven, Krista Zobrist, Lucy Gregson and Kristen Elder have all stepped up as leaders and will be contributing greatly to the success of the team,” McIsaac said.

Among the newcomers to the team are sophomore Amanda Reser (softball), senior Caitlyn Wahnschaffe (soccer) and sophomore Ashlyn Welk (volleyball) who are running cross country for the first time this year.

“They have already shown that they belong near the front of the pack,” McIsaac said. “Freshman Ashley Ulberg will also be vying for a spot on the varsity roster.”

McIsaac also likes the team’s dedication.

“We had a group of eight or nine meet each day this summer for group runs,” McIsaac said. “We saw huge improvements in fitness from the beginning of the summer until now.”

As for the jump to the Three Rivers League this year, McIsaac hopes the team is ready.

“It will be a tough league for the girls to compete in, but I fully expect them to rise to the challenge,” McIsaac said. “All we can do is prepare ourselves the best we can and see how it shakes out when it comes to race day. I believe we will be in the top third of the league as a team, competing for a spot at state.”

The Tualatin girls will open their season Wednesday at the annual Tualatin Invitational, which will be held at Tualatin High School.

The 17-school event starts with the 3,000-meter junior varsity girls race at 4 p.m. The 3,000 junior varsity boys race follows at 4:25 p.m. The 5,000 girls varsity race is set to start at 4:50 p.m. and the 5,000 boys varsity race will begin at 5:15 p.m.

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