RICHLAND – Only a freshman, Sunnyside’s Grif-fey Sarmiento may have a future in long distance running.
Near or at the front of the Sunnyside pack in the Grizzlies’ five previous cross-country competitions this season, Sarmiento again emerged as SHS’s top harrier at last Saturday’s Richland Invitational.
Competing in the boys varsity race on Richland’s three-mile course, Sarmiento sped to a clocking of 18:46.21. Nipping on his heels was teammate Robert Rodriguez, a senior, who clocked a time of 18:46.90. Only five spots back, approximately seven seconds behind, was another Sunnyside freshman – Joe Rodriguez III.
Team-wise, Sunnyside’s boys managed a 16th-place finish at the 20-school invite by tallying a score of 444.
North Central High School of Spokane won top team honors with an invite-low score of 29 points. North Central’s Caleb Landron and Jacob Christner finished in second and third place in the boys varsity race with clockings of 16:44.87 and 16:47.36, respectively. North Central also got seventh, ninth and 12th-place finishes from the trio of Micah Jones, Ash Ruff and Gabriel Meek.
The top time in the boys race was posted by Moscow, Idaho’s Jerry Cook (16:05.81).
In posting the fastest Sunnyside time in the boys varsity race, Sarmiento was the 82nd runner across the finish line from a field that numbered 157 harriers.
Besides Sarmiento and the two Rodriguez boys, the Grizzlies had four other runners competing in the varsity competition. They included senior Ignacio Portillo (19:29.62), junior Leo Palacios (20:00.71), sophomore Julian Naranjo (20:32.55) and junior Drew Gallardo (20:48.79).
Sunnyside’s girls were entered in Richland’s three-mile varsity race for tier-two runners, which drew a field of 141 athletes. The winning time was set by freshman Katherine Ruck of Moscow, Idaho, a clocking of 19:17.69.
Sunnyside’s best finish came from sophomore Jeniya Guillen. She placed 62nd in a time of 22:16.99. The only other Lady Grizzly cracking a ‘Top 100’ finish was senior Kayla Gonzalez. She was the 90th runner to cross the finish line (22:52.35).
The three-mile girls varsity race for tier-one runners was won by Richland junior Lindsey Bradley. She posted a time of 17:48.09.
The Richland invite also featured a three-mile boys race for just freshmen and sophomores. Topping the field of 307 runners was Kamiakin High School freshman Braxton Gutierrez. He sped to a clocking of 16:46.10. Sunnyside’s top finish in the race was claimed by sophomore Eric Heisey. He placed 148th in a time of 20:32.90.