PREP CROSS COUNTRY
PASCO – With sophomore Dallas Borrego and senior Jeniya Guillen leading the way, Sunnyside edged Chiawana for top honors in the girls team scoring for class 2A, 3A and 4A schools at the Pasco Bulldog Cross-Country Invite last Saturday.
Sunnyside’s girls compiled a meet-low 31 points to win championship honors from among the large school teams. Chiawana was a close second with 37 points.
It’s the second consecutive week the SHS girls squad has won top honors at an invite.
“Back-to-back first-place finishes for our girls…we’re all pretty tickled with that,” said Sunnyside Coach George Paulus.
The second-place finishing Chiawana squad last Saturday had two runners who came away with ‘Top 10’ finishes in the girls varsity 5,000-meter race…sophomore Samantha Schmidt and junior Katie Thien. Schmidt placed fourth with a clocking of 21:18.8. Thien finished 10th overall in a time of 22:59.7.
Borrego and Guillen bested both Chiawana harriers, however, placing second and third from among the 28-girl large school varsity field.
Guillen, the senior from Sunnyside, finished the race in 20:36.8, good for third-place honors.
The sophomore Borrego was the runner-up, clocking a time of 20:32.3 for the SHS squad.
The only harrier who bested Borrego in the large school girls varsity field was sophomore Miriam Ames of Lewiston, Idaho. Ames crossed the finish line first in 20:22.7.
Borrego’s second-place clocking, said Paulus, was a personal best for the sophomore in a 5,000-meter race. He noted she improved her time by about 30 seconds from the Saturday before.
Paulus said just about everyone on the Grizzly girls squad ran personal-best clockings at Pasco.
One of the reasons for that, he believes, is because the Grizzlies worked on pacing themselves in practice last week.
Sunnyside’s girls were also represented in the varsity race at Pasco by junior Cecilia Guillen, 11th in 23:01.1; junior Jessica Mendoza, 13th in 23:22.2; and freshman Alondra Garcia, 19th in 25:22.3.
In the large school boys varsity scoring at Pasco last Saturday, the Lewiston, Idaho high school squad claimed top honors with a meet-low 26 points. Kennewick and Richland tied for second, well back with 96 points apiece.
Sunnyside’s boys placed sixth - with 130 points - from a field of eight class 2A, 3A and 4A schools.
“We were missing three of our first-team guys,” Paulus said, explaining they had other commitments that prevented them from making the trip to Pasco.
The top runner for the Grizzlies proved to be junior Griffey Sarmiento. He sped to a 17:51.5 clocking, the eighth best time in the race for large school harriers.
The previous weekend Sarmiento completed his first 5K race of the season in 18:21.7.
The 17:51.5 clocking, Paulus said, was a personal best for the junior.
“Actually, setting a personal best is pretty significant when you consider this is Griffey’s third year running cross-country,” said Paulus.
The fastest runner Saturday in the boys varsity race turned out to be senior Fabian Cardenas of Umatilla, Ore. He and Lewiston junior Austin Bryer were the class of the field, finishing in 15:53.9 and 16:02.9, respectively.
The next fastest clocking was 16:44.3, set by Lewiston sophomore Joey Perez. The Idaho team had two other runners garner ‘Top 10’ finishes, as well.
Besides Sarmiento’s eighth-place finish for Sunnyside, senior Luis Ramos got the Grizzlies a 22nd-place finish (18:59.3).
For Ramos, it was the first high school race he had ever competed in.
“To run a sub-19-minute time in his first ever race, I’m pretty happy for Luis,” said Paulus. “Not too shabby for his first time out.”
Also representing the SHS boys varsity at Saturday’s Bulldog invite were senior Anthony Castelleja, 30th in 19:18.5; junior Boshyar Madera, 38th in 19:30.5; sophomore Malcom Sanchez, 41st in 19:45.3; sophomore Anthony Moyer, 42nd in 19:55.3; and senior Moses Ramirez-Ceballos, 49th in 20:26.2.
In a separate 5,000-meter event for JV freshman and sophomore boys last Saturday – which drew 67 harriers – Kaden Maxwell of Sunnyside ran to a third-place clocking of 19:26.3. Maxwell is only a freshman.
The freshman/sophomore race winner was Richland sophomore Trevor Allwine (19:17.1). Allwine’s teammate, sophomore Cole Brooks, was the runner-up (19:22.0).
A 5,000-meter race for JV junior and senior boys was also staged in Pasco. The winner was senior Victor Ramirez of the host Bulldogs (19:00.9). Sunnyside’s top two finishers in that event were junior Silas Jasso, fifth in 20:00.6; and junior Gilbert Borrego, eighth in 20:14.9.
In looking ahead to Sunnyside’s next competition of the season - the Richland Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 10 - Paulus said his Grizzlies will be facing some of the Pacific Northwest’s top runners.
More than 60 high school teams traditionally compete on the Carmichael Middle School course in Richland at this meet.
“It’s by far our biggest meet of the season,” Paulus said.