Middle school cross country making waves

Runners from Hood River and Wy’east middle schools joined forces this season on a combined middle school cross country team of about 60 runners. For the second race of the fall, the team hosted St. Mary’s, The Dalles and Hermiston last week at Hood River Valley High School as a lead-in to the Eagles’ annual Skip Sparks Invitational meet later that afternoon.

Both boys and girls teams put in dominating performances in the 3K race, taking the team title by lengthy margins.

“We consider The Dalles and Hermiston two of the top teams in the state,” said coach Steve Wrye. “I didn’t expect our kids to do quite so well, but the boys beat The Dalles by 44 points and Hermiston by 65 and the girls beat The Dalles by 60 and Hermiston by 39. They are running way beyond our expectations; it’s really exciting to see.”

The team will prepare this week for the annual Wy’east meet, set for Thursday, 4 p.m. at Wy’east Middle School. Teams from The Dalles, St. Mary’s and Arlington will have their shot at Hood River runners on what Wrye says is a European-style course.

“It’s designed so spectators can see the entire race,” Wrye said. “Hood River’s middle school football team will be playing at Wy’east at the same time, so it should be a fun afternoon for local sports fans.”

The middle school season consists of eight events and is capped by the Oregon middle school state meet in Portland at the end of October. The final meet will wrap up several months of training for much of the team.

“One reason they’re doing so well is because they were dedicated all summer to training and working together as a team,” Wrye said. “It’s exciting to think about how these kids will be when they get to the high school level. They’ll be prepared biomechanically and in terms of training and work ethic and self-confidence. That will allow them to relax and focus more on form; and in running, form is everything.”

Sept. 12, boys’ highlights:

Dylan Chambers, 1st, 13:16.42

Matthew McCravey, 2nd

Pico Sankari, 5th

August Lavine, 6th

Owen Ramsy, 7th

Jake Bromham, 10th

Adal Martinez, 11th

Taylor Peterson, 14th

Cullen Bryant, 15th

Joey Slover, 17th

Sept. 12 girls’ highlights:

Evelyn Munez, 2nd, 15:05.16

Erin Sutherland, 3rd

Daisy Dolan, 5th

Lauren Orr, 6th

Ella Mudry, 7th

Lexie Scofield, 8th

Emily Curtis, 10th

Melissa Nardone, 14th

Valerie Fisher, 15th

Jessica Edwards, 16th

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