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First-year SHS harrier runner-up at E'burg

ELLENSBURG - Sunnyside sophomore Britany Messmore may be kicking herself for not taking up running a long time ago.

The prep harrier, in her very first year of competitive running, is showing a knack for the grueling sport of cross country.

Yesterday, on Ellensburg's 5,000-meter cross country course, Messmore earned a runner-up finish in the girls race. Only the Bulldogs' Stephanie Cooke posted a faster time at the four-school Mid-Valley League meet.

Cooke ran a girls race best time of 22 minutes, 4 seconds. Messmore was just 18 seconds behind her with a clocking of 22:22. The next best finisher in the 48-girl field was more than two minutes and 20 seconds back of Messmore.

Sunnyside Coach Robin Bryson said Messmore began feeling herself tiring late in Thursday's race, and opted to not go stride for stride with Cooke in the latter stages.

"But after the race was over, Britany told me she still had quite a bit left at the end," said Bryson.

"Britany did some running over the summer, she's in good shape, and she likes to run.

"Now, I think it's just a matter of her learning how to race," Bryson said.

In assessing how her entire team did at Ellensburg yesterday, Bryson said she was very pleased with the Grizzlies' efforts.

"We saw lots of improvement in the times from when we ran there (in Ellensburg) earlier this season," said Bryson. In some cases, she said, more than a minute got shaved off the clockings from when her runners competed there on Sept. 10.

None of the 5K times were what anyone would consider fast, but Bryson said that's because Ellensburg's course is comprised mostly of narrow, winding trails.

"It's a slow course," Bryson said.

In the girls team scoring yesterday, Sunnyside bested Prosser by a 20-40 score, but the Lady Grizzly runners fell to Ellensburg and Wapato by scores of 22-36 and 24-37, respectively.

Messmore wasn't the only Lady Grizzly to earn a "Top 10" finish Thursday. Teammate Alyson Waddle finished fifth overall in the girls race, clocking a time of 25:03. Two other Lady Grizzly harriers-Paloma Carrillo and Kelsea Means-enjoyed success as well. The two finished in the top half of the field, as Carrillo placed 17th (26:42) and Means was 23rd (27:52).

The boys race winner Thursday was Prosser running sensation Nectaly Barbosa. He edged Ellensburg's Isak Bergman by six seconds for top honors, clocking a 17:53.

The top finisher for the Grizzly boys was Sterling Scott, who hit the finish line in 18:36, good for fourth place individual honors. Sunnyside teammate Gracen Gonzalez nailed down a "Top 10" finish as well, placing eighth in a time of 18:59.

The Sunnyside cross country team is scheduled to compete in the inaugural Apple Ridge Invitational in Tieton this coming Saturday. Three separate courses have been groomed in an old apple orchard there-with easy, moderate and tough challenges offered on the three trails.

Bryson said most of the courses prep athletes compete on locally are set up either on school grounds or in parks. The Tieton course is unique, she said, because it has been designed solely for the use of cross country runners. The course is so unique, she added, that Central Washington University runners have accepted an offer to host two of their collegiate meets there.

Sunnyside varsity boys

4th) Sterling Scott 18:36

8th) Gracen Gonzalez 18:59

17th) Gilberto Villalobos 20:02

19th) Jacob Rogers 20:06

21st) Sam Bardell 20:33

27th) Juan Gonzalez 21:00

31st) Zeke Galvan 21:34

Sunnyside JV boys

18th) Joel Gaspar 20:04

25th) Andrian Licea 20:54

34th) Andrew Swinehart 21:53

39th) Mathew Santoy 22:16

42nd) Matthew Martinez 22:32

51st) Roy Haringa 23:29

53rd) Danny Negrete 23:39

56th) Jesus Alquicira 24:27

57th) Dane Schmick 24:30

61st) Mario Bucio 25:36

66th) Alexander Badger 27:16

67th) Tristan Abbott 27:18

Sunnyside varsity girls

2nd) Britany Messmore 22:22

5th) Alyson Waddle 25:03

17th) Paloma Carrillo 26:42

23rd) Kelsea Means 27:52

27th) Angelica Ruiz 28:24

31st) Julie Wedam 29:24

33rd) Maribel Sanchez 29:33

Sunnyside JV girls

25th) Christina Fuller 28:07

28th) Alejandra Alvarado 28:24

36th) Andrea Benitez 30:22

37th) Celeste Salinas 30:24

39th) Lucy Salcedo 32:16

40th) Maricela Madrigal 32:26

41st) Sara Sanchez 32:29

44th) Angelina Fernandez 33:16

45th) Amanda Graham 34:25

46th) Ashley Cruz-Garza 36:23

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