SPOKANE – None of Sunnyside’s runners qualified at last Saturday’s Regional competition for the 3A State cross-country meet. But, that doesn’t mean the Grizzlies aren’t sitting on a whole lot of potential.
The top harriers across the finish line at Regionals for the Sunnyside High School boys and girls cross-country squads were underclassmen.
On the boys side, two freshmen were first in for Sunnyside…Griffey Sarmiento and Joe Rodriguez III. In Saturday’s girls race, Sunnyside was led by a sophomore, Jeniya Guillen.
Based on their times the three young prep runners from Sunnyside still have a ways to go to be considered State meet caliber. But, they have several years left to refine both their technique and endurance.
The class of the field in Saturday’s 5,000-meter boys race was a quartet from Spokane. All four runners hit the finish line with sub 16-minute times.
Mt. Spokane High School junior John Dressel ended up out-dueling North Central junior Tanner Anderson, winning by a four-second margin. Dressel’s winning time was 15:41, with Anderson setting a clocking of 15:45. North Central senior Taylor Wilmot was third in 15:52, followed by Shadle Park senior Nicholas Hauger (15:59).
Three Kamiakin High School runners placed fifth through seventh to claim the top individual finishes for the contingent from the Tri-Cities and Sunnyside.
Sarmiento was the 45th runner across the finish line on the Spokane course. He posted a time of 18:48. His fellow freshman and Sunnyside teammate, Rodriguez, placed 51st in 19:25.
SHS senior Robert Rodriguez earned the 52nd-place finish with an identical clocking of 19:25.
Sunnyside’s four other runners in the Regional boys race clocked times ranging from 20:39 to 20:52, good for 60th through 63rd place honors from the 64-runner field.
Guillen, in running the fastest race for the Sunnyside girls squad, clocked a time of 23 minutes-flat. That left her with a 47th-place finish from a field that numbered 60 harriers.
Three spots back in 50th place was SHS teammate Kayla Gonzalez. The senior set a time of 23:41.
The five other Sunnyside runners brought up the rear with 56th through 60th place finishes.
Top honors in the Regional girls race went to Kamiakin sophomore Kaylee Sanchez. She sped around the 5,000-meter course in a time of 19:38. Three seconds behind her in 19:41 was runner-up Lauren Dunnell of Shadle Park, a junior.
The one other girl at Regionals to post a sub 20-minute clocking was Hanford senior Amy Pfaff (19:46).
Team-wise, Kamiakin won the Regional girls title with a meet-low 53 points. Hanford was second with 68 points. Sunnyside’s girls were last in the team scoring from the nine-school field with 265 points.
North Central and Kamiakin placed first and second, respectively, in the boys team scoring with 43 and 45 points. Mt. Spokane was a close third with 61 points. Sunnyside settled for a ninth-place finish (267).