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Wy named top boys runner
When this past fallï¿½s prep cross country season began, both River Valley High senior T.J. Wy and Wheatland freshman Jessica Carpenter were somewhat unknowns. Wy was a little familiar, having run track last spring, but otherwise the two entered the cross country season under the radar. They quickly gained notoriety, however, and ran their way to berths in the state cross country championships. For their exploits, Wy and Carpenter have been named the Appeal-Democratï¿½s male and female cross country athletes of the year respectively. ï¿½T.J. had a great track season, so I kind of knew what he could do,ï¿½ said his Falcons coach, Paul Odegard. ï¿½He also worked hard over the summer, and he showed great promise.ï¿½ Also, during his sophomore season while attending school in Ohio, Wy qualified for that stateï¿½s cross country championships. With his pedigree, Odegard admitted he was not surprised that Wy managed to qualify for the state meet in Fresno, where he finished 34th in Div. II with a time of 16 minutes, 19 seconds, for 3.1 miles. Lack of numbers at the varsity level affected Wy. Despite a stellar start to high school running in Ohio, when Wy came to River Valley he went out for soccer his junior season. ï¿½I would have been the only varsity runner,ï¿½ he said of the cross country team that season. So, he went out for soccer to stay in shape for track. Then this fall, he switched back to cross country, with no regrets. He became the first Falcon to qualify for the state meet, after finishing fifth at the Sac-Joaquin Section championship meet in Folsom, timing 16:45 for 3.1 miles. While his state performance was a personal record, Wy admitted being somewhat disappointed. ï¿½I expected to run under 16 minutes,ï¿½ Wy said, noting he started out slowly and after the first mile was not even in the top 100. ï¿½It took a lot out of me to try and catch up,ï¿½ he added. The high point of the season for Wy was ï¿½being part of a really awesome team. We held together and had a lot of fun.ï¿½ ï¿½T.J. has great athletic talent,ï¿½ Odegard said. ï¿½He could play any sport he wants and would be good at it. And, heï¿½s an even better student.ï¿½ While Wy has ended his high school careeer and would like to continue his cross country career in college, Carpenter still has three more years left in high school. ï¿½I think by her senior season sheï¿½ï¿½ll be in the top five in the state,ï¿½ Wright said. Other boys named to the Appeal-Democrat's all-area cross country team are: Cristobal Pinedo, Sr., Yuba City ï¿½ He finished second at the Tri-County Conference championship meet (18:18, 3.1 miles) and 44th at the Section meet. Joey Villasenor, Sr., Lindhurst ï¿½ He was named the most valuable male runner in the Golden EmpireLeague. Tony Perez, Jr., Sutter ï¿½ He finished second in the BVL championship meet (17:25) and 18th at the Northern Section meet. He was 130th at the state meet for Div. IV (17:55). Hector Garcia, Jr., Colusa ï¿½ He qualified for the state meet after finishing 46th (18:21) at the Northern Section championships. He was unable to run at the state meet. Amandeep Singh, Jr., River Valley - He finished fourth in the TCC championship meet (18:10).