PASCO – A pair of underclassmen led the way for the Sunnyside High School cross-country squads at last Saturday’s Pasco Big Cross Invite.
In the girls 5,000-meter varsity race, SHS sophomore Jeniya Guillen garnered a 26th place finish from the field of 62 harriers.
Freshman Joe Rodriguez III led the Sunnyside boys in the 5,000-meter varsity competition. He was the 39th runner from a field of 71 to cross the finish line.
Nipping on Rodriguez’s heels, just one spot back in 40th place, was teammate and fellow freshman Griffey Sarmiento. The two Grizzlies posted times of 19:02.5 and 19:06.2, respectively.
Team-wise, the SHS varsity brought up the rear at the 10-school invite, placing 10th with 222 points. The boys squad from Tri-Cities Prep notched top honors with a meet-low 54 points, followed by Hanford and Richland’s boys with 77 and 78 points, respectively.
The varsity boys race winner was Hanford senior Seth Cook. He toured the Pasco course in a time of 16:37.3. Eleven and a half seconds behind him in second place was Northwest Christian junior Alex Wallat.
Following Rodriguez and Sar-miento’s 39th and 40th place finishes for Sunnyside were Grizzly teammates Ignacio Portillo, 53rd place in 19:41.7; Julio Gaspar, 56th place in 19:50.9; Robert Rodriguez, 57th place in 19:52.1; Jesse Torres, 64th place in 21:02.5; and Julian Naranjo, 67th place in 21:20.3.
Guillen led the Lady Grizzlies to an eighth-place finish from the nine schools that fielded full teams. Hanford won the girls team title.
In placing 26th, Guillen recorded a time of 22:21.0.
The winning time of 19:17.8 was set by Richland junior Sidney Bullock. She bested the runner-up, Hanford senior Amy Pfaff, by approximately 27 seconds.
Besides Guillen, the SHS girls squad had four other harriers entered in Saturday’s varsity race. They included Kayla Gonzalez, 41st in 23:37.9; Cynthia Herrera, 50th in 25:13.1; Samantha Herrera, 53rd in 25:33.5; and Angela Montes, 57th in 26:16.6.
The Pasco High School cross-country invite also featured 5,000-meter junior varsity races for the boys and girls. Sunnyside had no girls entered in the JV competition, but in the boys race a dozen Grizzlies competed. Sunnyside’s top finisher was junior Drew Gallardo, who posted a time of 20:23.4. The winning boys JV time of 18:05.0 was set by Hanford sophomore Will Eldred.