It wasn’t the best 3,200-meter time of Central Valley senior Ryan Kline’s decorated career, but it was good enough for him to claim another Greater Spokane League district-qualifying title.
Kline paced himself the first seven laps Thursday at CV, staying on the heels of University’s Jacob Easton and Lewis and Clark’s Wil Smith, who finished second and third, respectively, and helped set the early pace.
But the long-striding Kline, who won a State 4A cross country title in 2017 and placed second at state in the 3,200 last spring, changed gears late in the competitive race, topping the field in 9 minutes, 19 seconds.
“I knew I could get ’em on the last lap, so that’s when I made my move,” said Kline, who will run at the University of Idaho next year. “This league is so stacked, it’s fantastic.”
Smith, Easton and Kline have been among the top runners in the state this year. They’ll meet again next week with even more on the line.
The top eight finishers from the GSL 4A and 3A boys and girls district-qualifying meets, which continue Friday, qualify for next week’s District 8 meets in Richland
Among the highlights in the 4A portion of the girls meet was LC speedster Sativa Rogers, who won the 100 (12.15 seconds) and anchored the Tigers’ winning 800 relay (1:44).
Ferris sophomore standout Cole Omlin had a career-high leap of 23 feet, 1 inch to win the 4A boys long jump title.
CV and Mead’s boys are tied for the lead with 60 team points heading into the final day.
LC’s girls lead CV 73 to 71.75 in the 4A meet.
In 3A, Mt. Spokane’s boys (107) and girls (159) are leading second-place North Central’s boys (101) and girls (106).
Defending State 3A champion high jumper Katie Rhodes of Mt. Spokane, who will compete in track and volleyball at Carroll College next season, jumped 5-4 to win on Thursday
She’s been pushed all season by NC Italian exchange student Elisa Tosseto, who has also jumped 5-4 this season.
“It’s really nice to have that competition,” Rhodes said. “She’s like a teammate in that she pushes me. We try to beat each other every meet and it’s been friendly competition.”