To say that Junior Hernandez's finish at the State 'B' regional cross country meet in Deer Park was amazing would be an understatement.
While competing against top ranked 'B' schools like Rearden and St. George's, Hernandez wasn't intimidated and managed to finish 13th with a time of 18:17, good enough to qualify for next Saturday's state cross country meet in Pasco.
And Hernandez did all this as only an 8th grader.
Hernandez ran a smart race according to coach Darrell Lang. Hernandez didn't stick with the first group of runners, opting instead to stay back with the second group where he found the pace more to his liking.
Hernandez hung back around 10th place for most of the race, Lang said.
Despite soggy conditions he was able to keep a fairly steady pace.
Lang said he was unaware how many other people had qualified for the state meet, but thought Hernandez was in very select company.
The Bickleton team as a whole finished in 9th place with 213 points.
Other finishers for the Bickleton team were junior Orion Yoesle at 47th place, junior Tyler Jensen at 50th and sophomores Jared Spalding and James Rasmussen, who came in at 52nd and 53rd respectively.
On the girls side, freshman Danielle Raschko just missed a trip to state, by falling out of the top 15 into 16th place in Cle Elum this past Saturday.
"She ran the race of her life," Lang said of Raschko.
Hernandez will compete at the state 'B' meet this Saturday at about noon.