Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Blankenship has blueprint for cross country, track success

Medical Lake track and cross country coach was in right place at right time


Paul Delaney

Gene Blankenship (left), Medical Lake's co-head track and head cross country coach is seen here with assistant, David McNeil (right) at the recently completed state championships at Roos Field. Blankenship has successfully replicated the blueprint for success he created in California in the 1980s and 1990s with state championships in cross country and track during the last school year.

Like most everyone who has been passed over for a job that they thought was the perfect fit, Gene Blankenship admitted "I was pretty upset at first," when he was passed over to replace longtime West Valley High School cross country coach Jim McLachlan in the summer of 2010.

Four years and two state championships later the head coach of Medical Lake's cross country team and its co-head coach in track has a different take.

"Not getting hired by West Valley was the best thing that ever happened to me," the 71-year-old said. And the Medical Lake community will probably agree after Blankenship h...

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