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Lopez finishes ninth in 3,200

CHENEY - Mabton High School track and field runner Webster Lopez duplicated his performance from the previous year at last night's opening day of the State 'B' track and field meet at Eastern Washington University.

Lopez, a senior, finished ninth in the 3,200-meter race with a time of 10:34.

"He ran about what he has been all year," said Mabton Coach Rob Roettger.

Setting the pace for the day was Klickitat freshman Herschel Sanchey, winning the State title in an impressive time of 9:59.

"He was exhausted at the end of the race," said Roettger of Sanchey.

Roettger said he was familiar with Sanchey before from a meet earlier in the season in Wapato. He said the Klickitat freshman exploded out of the blocks and never looked back.

"He came out and ran hard," said Roettger. "That kid can run. He should win a few more (State titles)."

Lopez, though, wasn't doing too badly either until midway through the race.

Roettger said Lopez was in second place for the first few laps, but ran into disaster in the fifth lap, completing the oval in a time of 1:26. Lopez fell back to ninth place, where he stayed for the remainder of the race.

The weather was cold somewhat, said Roettger, who was hoping for the type of warm weather conditions Lopez ran in when he won the Regional title last week in Ellensburg.

Lopez was just mere seconds away from bringing home a medal from State. Amos Whitwam of Oakville took home the last medal in the 3,200, placing eighth with a time of 10:29.

Roettger said he will miss Lopez next year, citing how it is quite an accomplishment to make it to State two consecutive years.

"I am proud of him," said Roettger. "He has done a good job."

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