As of Monday, September 14, 2015
ELLENSBURG – Harriers from throughout Central Washington got their first taste of competition this season at last Saturday’s Ellensburg Invitational.
Running on the 2.35-mile cross-country course at Ellensburg’s Irene Rhineheart Park, both Sunnyside’s boys and girls squads managed eighth-place finishes.
The top individual finishers for the Sunnyside boys were Griffey Sarmiento, a junior, and sophomore Emmanuel Ocampo. They crossed the finish line 17th and 19th, respectively, from a varsity field that numbered 151.
Sophomore Dallas Borrego and senior Jeniya Guillen led the way for the SHS girls. They finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the girls varsity race, which drew 95 runners.
The Bickleton boys squad, paced by senior Andrew Gannon, only managed a 17th-place team finish from the 18 schools that could field complete five-man squads for scoring purposes.
Gannon, however, worked his way into the “Top 10” in the individual finishes with a clocking of 12:51. That tied him with Cascade High School senior Daniel Olmstead for 10th-place honors.
“Andrew had a great run,” said Bickleton Coach Chris Venema.
The four other Pirates who joined Gannon on the Ellensburg course were well back of the senior, though. Their clockings ranged from 15:21 to 17:31.
“We’ve got some work to do, but I have high hopes for this Pirate team,” Venema added.
Grandview entered just two harriers in the boys varsity race – sophomore Adrian Benitez and senior Carlos Granados. Each clocked times of 13:56 to share 40th-place honors.
The varsity boys race winner proved to be Hanford senior Porter McMichael. He sped to a clocking of 12:02. McMichael and his Falcon teammates managed a sixth-place showing in the boys team standings.
Seniors Colton Hoggarth and Alex Ditto of the West Valley Rams were second and third, respectively, in the varsity boys race. They clocked times of 12:18 and 12:19. Coupled with a seventh-place finish from teammate Daniel Izutsu (12:40), the Rams won the boys team title.
In leading Sunnyside’s boys to an eighth-place team finish, Sarmiento and Ocampo crossed the finish line in 13:07 and 13:10, respectively.
Sarmiento, the junior, has been one of the Grizzlies’ team leaders since coming onto the team as a freshman.
The sophomore Ocampo, however, “…came out of nowhere,” said SHS Coach George Paulus.
The Grizzly coach said Ocampo didn’t turn out last year. Paulus said the sophomore is a small kid, only 5-1 or 5-2, but indicated he can really motor.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how he progresses,” Paulus said of Ocampo.
After those 17th and 19th-place individual performances by Sarmiento and Ocampo, the Grizzlies’ next