WENATCHEE - Based on yesterday's finishes at the Columbia Basin 3A League District meet in Wenatchee, Sunnyside's Jacob Rogers and Brittany Messmore appear to have the best chance of any of the Grizzly harriers to advance to the State cross country meet in Pasco the first Saturday of November.
To get to State, though, the pair will have to duplicate their "Top 10" efforts from yesterday at next Saturday's Regional meet in Yakima. Only the top 10 individual finishers and the top two finishing teams at Regionals move on to State.
Rogers, a sophomore, and the junior Messmore both earned ninth place finishes at Thursday's District meet.
Sunnyside Coach Robin Bryson described Rogers' performance on the three-mile Walla Walla Point Park course as "...a very nice run." Rogers, Sunnyside's top finisher in the boys race, clocked a time of 17:23.
Three of the boys race competitors, however, turned in sub-17-minute times. They were top finisher Andrew Gonzales of Southridge, who sped to a clocking of 16:36, and Kamiakin's Brad Young (16:40) and Eastmont's Rafael Gonzalez (16:52).
Grizzly freshman Jordan Esqueda had been Sunnyside's top finisher of late, but at Thursday's District meet he was a full 23 seconds back of Rogers. Still, he was the second Grizzly to cross the finish line, recording a time of 17:46 for an overall 22nd place finish.
Sunnyside senior Sterling Scott placed 29th overall with a clocking of 18:13. Also competing for the Grizzly boys were Isaac Romero (18:15) and Gracen Gonzalez (18:31).
Of the seven 3A teams at District, Sunnyside's boys finished sixth with 130 points. The Kamiakin Braves won the boys team title with a meet low 57 points. Hanford's Falcons, who got a team best fifth place finish from Lance Kindle (17:12), were a close second with 69 points.
On the girls side, West Valley ran away with the District team title, grabbing the first three finishing spots enroute to scoring a meet low 33 points. Sunnyside's girls, paced by Messmore's ninth place overall finish, were sixth with 153 points.
For Messmore, Thursday's performance was described by Bryson as "...an outstanding run."
The Lady Grizzly junior hit the finish line in a time of 20:25. The winning time, set by West Valley's Lisa Olander, was 18:55.
The second Sunnyside girl to finish yesterday was Kassandra Reyes, 37th overall in a time of 27:02. The rest of the Lady Grizzly squad came in with times between 27:17 and 32:39.