The team packed it in when Hood River Valley High School cross country competed Friday the Bridgitte Nelson Invite in The Dalles.
And that is a very good thing.
Both the girls and boys ran well as teams, and the athletes finished in close order near the head of the field, also known as packing,
The girls "dominated" in the meet at Sorosis Park, according to coach Kristen Uhler, winning with 24 points to Pendleton's 54 and The Dalles-Wahtonka's 70.
The boys took second in their three-way contest. It was Pendleton 39, HRVHS 41 and The Dalles-Wahtonka 52.
The girls' goal was to "pack" five girls at the front, which they did, placing second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.
The HRV boys' orders of finish made it easy to determine who runs varsity next Friday at the Oxford Classic in Bend, according to Uhler. They improved their packing, at fourth, fifth, ninth, 11th and 12th.
Freshman Fiona Wylde continued to cement her role as girls' team leader, placing second (22 minutes, four seconds) behind Sandy Torres of Pendleton in 21:36.
For the boys, sophomore Ricardo Castillo led his team for the second straight week, finishing fourth.
Wylde said "We're all trying to work together, trying to improve as a team, trying to get closer, to raise up our scores and get closer to Hermiston and The Dalles and close that gap.
"For other teams it looks more intimidating: 'a whole pack of Hood River runners coming to get us.'"
Uhler praised Dillon, a sophomore, and senior Danae Burck, and said, "Now we need to match up with Hermiston, and beat them, to fulfill our goal of district champions.
"The girls are getting much more 'race savvy' and learning how to race as a team and edge other team members out for the low score to win," she said.
"We are 'deep,' and Hermiston is not. If one girl on HRV doesn't race well another is ready to step in. That takes the pressure off each individual runner. Plus, they are competing for that spot every week and every day in practice."
Saturday's meet in Bend will provide tougher competition, but the team is also looking ahead to the Concordia Classic on Oct. 15, the last race before District at Sorosis Park.
"At the Concordia meet, we'll get huge PRS, I just know it," Uhler said. "The course is fast and flat, and there will be a bunch of fast people.
"I am really excited about this team, super positive; great leadership young and having a great time," Uhler said. "The kids are pumped, and fun to be around. We're all focused on running hard and having fun."
4: Althea Dillon, 22:48
5: Jessica DeHart, 22:52
6: Danae Burck, 22:52
7: Rhue Buddendeck, 22:53
10: Erika Enriquez, 23:40
12: Mackenzie Bassham, 23:54
17: Kalie McGreer, 24:45
18: Lydia Gildehaus, 24:50
28: Hallie Curtis, 26:57
34: Madison Graham, 28:32
38: Natalia Ames, 30:46
40: Anika Engbersen, 31:14
41: Wren Andrews, 341:20
44: Eva Kahn, 32:11
47: Kankanok Wichiantoanon, 34:00
4: Ricardo Castillo, 18:10
5: Sage Deenik, 18:13
9: Jorge Cuevas, 18:36
11: Broddie Sutherland, 19:17
12: Miguel Cuevas, 19:19
13: Sean Crompton, 19:27
15: Ben Fischer, 19:42
16: Javier Jimenez, 19:44
20: Nils Engbersen, 20:01
28: Ty Bofferding, 21:07
32: Jacob Fischer, 21:25
36: Charlie Mallon, 21:44
43: Heriberto Ojeda, 22:14
50: Leo Castillo, 23:30
58: Oscar Gamez, 28:31