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Paul leads pack as girls XC wins second at Seaside

Pennington places sixth in superb team showing

Christy Paul won first place overall on the "difficult course," and helped lead the HRV girls cross-country team to second place overall in its division at the Seaside High School Three-Course Challenge on Saturday.

Four divisions of 60 teams from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California competed at the meet, which consisted of three running courses of varied distances and difficulties. HRV competed in the "large school" division, and each runner had to randomly choose her course at the beginning of the day.

HRV totaled 219 points to earn second-place honors, and was the only team within striking distance of the large school champ, Bellarmine Prep of Seattle. Paul's time of 25:03 on the muddy, sandy, hill-wracked course was the best time of all the girls divisions.

"Christy is gaining a lot of confidence but she hasn't become complacent," coach Kristen Uhler said. "Her commitment and work ethic over the summer is definitely showing in her racing. She is a humble role model and a great team leader."

Suni Davis and Emily Meyer also competed on the difficult course, finishing 42nd and 48th respectively in the field of 250-plus runners. On the moderate course, Laurissa Pennington took sixth place overall, and Jessica Adams finished 37th among large schools.

Kristen Hedges and Allison Beyers finished in a virtual dead heat for seventh and eighth place, respectively, on the easy course.

"We had many breakthrough performances in Seaside, especially Kristen and Jessica," Uhler said. "Our girls are learning how to have fun but also stay focused on their running."

In addition the their second place finish, the Eagles also won the citizenship award for taking part in a homestay exchange with University City High School in San Diego, Calif. The HRV runners will soon visit San Diego to compete alongside their new racing friends.

"The University City kids are one of the top teams in the state of California, and our athletes experienced first-hand what that level of success takes," Uhler said.

Hood River hopes to continue its season-long run of superb team finishes when they face the Mt. Hood Conference today at Henderson Stadium.

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