RICHLAND - Sunnyside High School senior Jacob Rogers was dialed-in at this past Saturday's Richland Invitational.
Rogers scooted around the three-mile Carmichael Middle School playfield course in a time of 16:47, the sixth fastest time in the 21-school Division II competition.
The top time was turned in by Seattle Academy's Alex Johnson. He crossed the finish line in 16:18.
Sunnyside Coach Robin Bryson confirmed that for Rogers, it was his fastest time of the season.
The Grizzly cross-country team also got three clockings ranging from 17:04 to 17:53 from Jose Sanchez, Gracen Gonzalez and Osbaldo Arroyo. Coupled with Patrick Watts' time of 18 minutes-flat, Sunnyside notched a third-place finish in the boys team standings.
"All of our boys, our girls too for that matter, are making huge improvements in their times," said Bryson.
"Saturday, everyone pretty well ran to their potential. They ran as expected," she said.
Grandview, also a Division II competitor at the Richland invite, was led by senior Jose Mendez. He had the 18th fastest time (17:18). The Greyhounds finished 16th in the 21-school boys team scoring, tallying 396 points.
Greyhound Coach Renee Van Pelt said her boys struggled a bit at different spots on the Richland course, mainly on the steep inclines.
"We also did not take advantage of the long downhill stretch, lengthening our strides to gain ground," Van Pelt said. "It was almost like our runners were holding themselves back."
The Richland Invitational also featured 26 upper-echelon schools competing in a separate Division I competition. The top boys team, with a meet-low 39 points, proved to be North Central. Seattle Prep won the Division I girls title.
The Division II boys team champion on Saturday was Hermiston, an Oregon 5A school. Hermiston tallied 61 points, edging out North Central's 'B' team, which totaled 65 points. Sunnyside was third in the boys team scoring with 105 points.
Neither Sunnyside nor Grandview fielded a complete girls team at Saturday's invite, thus were not included in the team standings.
But from an individual standpoint, Sunnyside sophomore Jocelyn Yanez turned in a top-notch performance. She posted the seventh fastest time in the Division II varsity race, clocking in at 20:14.
The Lady Grizzly harriers also got a 26th place effort from junior Marlene Manzo (21:39), and teammate Daisy Rodriguez, a sophomore, ran to a 25:32 clocking for 92nd place honors.
Grandview's lone female runner was junior Krystal Martinez. She competed in the three-mile junior varsity race and placed 46th in a time of 23:20.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to host Ephrata and Othello for a league competition this coming Thursday. Sunnyside's cross-country team will close out league action the same day at Yakima's Franklin Park.
3-mile boys varsity
Jacob Rogers 16:47
Jose A. Sanchez 17:04
Gracen Gonzalez 17:09
Osbaldo Arroyo 17:53
Patrick Watts 18:00
Kennedy Sarmiento 18:30
Shawn Olivarez 19:01
Sean Johnson 19:02
Jose Mendez 17:18
Koty Kollmar 17:33
Spencer Blanshan 19:21
Micky Moore 19:22
Mario Prieto 19:29
Edwardo Galindo 23:56
3-mile boys junior/senior JV
Nicholas Martinez 20:24
Spencer Jaquish 20:30
Matt Hatfield 21:18
Enrique Ochoa 26:06
3-mile freshman/sophomore JV
Christopher Roman 18:49
Nathan Gonzalez 18:57
Tye Walsh 19:23
Ruben Prado 20:02
Guadalupe Mendoza 20:06
Martin Saldana 20:09
Miguel Barrios 20:22
Adam Ruppert 20:38
Guillermo Correa 20:59
Freddie Roman 21:08