SHS girls notch two ‘Top 10’ finishes at Connell Invitational

Sarmiento leads Grizzly boys pack

PREP CROSS COUNTRY

CONNELL – Sophomore Dallas Borrego and senior Jeniya Guillen – two of the swiftest harriers on the Sunnyside High School girls cross-country team – earned “Top 10” finishes last Saturday at the Connell Invitational.

In the boys varsity race at Connell, Sunnyside was paced by junior Griffey Sarmiento. He finished 21st from a field that numbered 145 strong.

Both the boys and girls varsity races were staged on 5,000-meter courses.

It was the first 5K competitions of the season for the two SHS squads.

Riverside sophomore Ben Shaw put up the fastest time on the day. He sped to a clocking of 16:16.9. The only other harrier to break the 17-minute mark was the boys varsity runner-up – Goldendale sophomore Dillon Rising (16:44.4).

The lone runner in the girls varsity race to cover the 5,000-meter distance in under 20 minutes was Erin Mullins. She is a junior at Leavenworth’s Cascade High School. She was clocked at 19:45.6.

The girls runner-up proved to be Pullman junior Madeline Walker. She crossed the finish line in 20:16.2.

In a hotly contested push for the third-place spot in the girls varsity race, the Sunnyside sophomore – Borrego – edged Pullman High School’s Charity Cordova by less than a second. Borrego leaned across the tape in 20:51.2, with Cordova fourth at 20:52.1.

SHS Coach George Paulus said Borrego out-dueled three other girls down the home stretch.

“Dallas put her head down and out-sprinted them to the line,” said Paulus. “She ran a great race.”

Paulus noted it was the first 5K race in which Borrego has finished in under 21 minutes.

Just a few spots back, with a nifty seventh-place performance, was the SHS senior – Guillen. She sped to a 21:23.6 clocking.

Saturday’s girls varsity race drew 81 runners. Besides Borrego and Guillen, Sunnyside was represented by freshman Nora Cisneros-Toscano, who placed 29th in 23:27.1; junior Cecilia Guillen, who came in 44th in 25:06.0; junior Samantha Herrera, 58th across the finish line in 26:45.9; and freshman Alondra Garcia, the 60th-place finisher in 27:00.2.

Overall, the Sunnyside girls team was awarded the first-place team trophy for 3A/4A schools at the Connell invite.

In posting the fastest time for the Sunnyside boys varsity last Saturday, Sarmiento stretched his legs to the tune of an 18:21.7 clocking. That was just a hair over two minutes behind Shaw, the winner from class 1A Riverside High School.

In assessing Sarmiento’s 21st-place performance, Paulus indicated he believes the junior has more in him.

The goal, Paulus said, is for Sarmiento to be running in the high 16-minute range, or low 17’s by the end of the season. “He’ll need to be that low if he’s going to go anywhere in the postseason,” said Paulus.

Next in for the Grizzlies last Saturday – in 42nd place in a time of 18:55.5 – was the small, but mighty-mite sophomore, Emmanuel Ocampo.

“That kid has a lot of heart,” Paulus chirped enthusiastically.

The last mile or so of the race, Paulus recalled, “Emmanuel was passing guys all over the place. He went from being in 63rd place to finishing 42nd.

“When a lot of other kids are dying down the stretch, Emmanuel is picking it up…going all out.”

Sunnyside’s varsity line-up last Saturday also included sophomore Anthony Moyer, 63rd in 19:39.5; sophomore Malcolm Sanchez, 83rd in 20:10.3; senior Moses Ramirez-Ceballos, 94th in 20:47.7; sophomore Arturo Palacios, 99th in 21:03.3; and sophomore Michael Condie, 103rd in 21:06.2

Sunnyside’s cross-country runners are next scheduled to compete this coming Saturday at the Pasco Big Cross Invitational.



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