Just when the HRV girls cross-country team appeared to have overcome its two-week bout with the flu bug, it was forced to battle a different kind of illness on Oct. 17: the injury bug.
The team's number-two runner, Laurissa Pennington, twisted her ankle and did not finish the race, causing the Eagles to drop their first Mt. Hood Conference dual meet of the season, and putting Pennington's status in question for the district meet on Oct. 24.
A strong Centennial squad took second through sixth places head-to-head to beat HRV 20-36, but the Eagles continued to pack well, taking seventh through ninth places, as well as first and 11th.
Despite the loss and the most recent health scare, HRV still managed to fend off Barlow 27-30, and run its season record to 7-1, second in the MHC to Centennial, which remained undefeated.
Christy Paul distanced herself from the field, just as she has done all year, to take first place overall and in the MHC with a time of 18 minutes, 32 seconds.
The steadily improving Suni Davis coasted into second place on the team and tenth in the MHC at 21:16, while Allison Byers (21:21) and Kristen Hedges (21:36) followed just seconds later in 11th and 12th.
Emily Meyer, still recovering from a bronchial infection, has begun to reestablish the pace she set for herself earlier in the season with a time of 22:14, good for 14th place in the MHC.
Two up-and-coming runners, Jenny Villagomez (22:28) and Jessica Adams (22:29), finished neck-and-neck in 16th and 17th, and made a strong push for the final spot on the varsity team at Oct. 24's district meet.
Though both runners performed well at the Grant meet, Uhler opted to go with Villagomez, who dominated the JV circuit early in the season and has set personal records at each varsity meet.
"These girls really want to go to state," Uhler said. "Now we need rest, focus and taper our runs to prepare for the District meet."
The JV girls are also looking strong heading into districts, and are led by Adams, Caitlin Becker and Chelsea Nance, who have all competed at the varsity level this season.
Lindsey Brown, Joyce Yang, Jillian Jones and Stephanie Delgado will also give the Eagles a lift as they look to pick up where they left off at Grant, when they won their division by taking three of the top four places in the MHC.
Nance took ninth overall and first in the MHC with a time of 13:32 in the 3,000-meter race, while Yang was close behind in second at 13:35.
Brown also ran a strong race, clocking in at 13:54 for fourth in the MHC. Jones finished 12th with a time of 15:36, followed by Delgado (16:02, 13th in MHC), Fae Haglund (16:05, 14th in MHC), and Raemi Lucas (16:13, 16th in MHC).