Middle School cross-country team concludes successful season

Top row, left to right: Coach Mike Parkinson, Tyler Yoakum, Titus Grimsley, Miles Reagan, John Beckman, Jeryn Concienne, Sam Fauth, Jade Emmons, Sadie Smith, Maurine Najjar, Anna Agreda, Rosie Thomas, Avery Walker, Ava Kitt, Aiden Weld, Judah Caudill, Quinn Roediger, Coaches Aaron and Robin Haynes. Second row down: Forrest Hedberg, Owen Sheppard, Sam Blosser, Jackson Bullock, Jack Weiseth, Calla King, Kate Pauly, Jacob Smith, Coeur Fellows, Andy Betzing, Caiden Titus, Gabby Mooney, Sebastian Wellenstein, Carson Farlow, Ruby Betzing, Jennevee Grajeda, Sarah Routson; third row down: Bella Sperry, Claire Kealy, Yoon Carlson, Marieda Kalahar, Mallory Keller, Vivian Olson, Max Webster, Ava Jones, John Olsen, Rowan Halseth, Olivia Milikin-Spray, Christian Gautier, Tyler Howell, Logan King, Fergie Waag; front row: Isabel Taylor, Connar Farlow, Rohan Faber, Ethan Sheppard, Fin Van Rutledge, Patrick Kissinger, Camden Moody and Zane McCourt.  Not pictured: Eric Cruz, Oscar Erdmann, Coach Alli Haynes, Clara Parkinson, Luc Pelletier, Jackson Weed and Thorsen Welch.

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Top row, left to right: Coach Mike Parkinson, Tyler Yoakum, Titus Grimsley, Miles Reagan, John Beckman, Jeryn Concienne, Sam Fauth, Jade Emmons, Sadie Smith, Maurine Najjar, Anna Agreda, Rosie Thomas, Avery Walker, Ava Kitt, Aiden Weld, Judah Caudill, Quinn Roediger, Coaches Aaron and Robin Haynes. Second row down: Forrest Hedberg, Owen Sheppard, Sam Blosser, Jackson Bullock, Jack Weiseth, Calla King, Kate Pauly, Jacob Smith, Coeur Fellows, Andy Betzing, Caiden Titus, Gabby Mooney, Sebastian Wellenstein, Carson Farlow, Ruby Betzing, Jennevee Grajeda, Sarah Routson; third row down: Bella Sperry, Claire Kealy, Yoon Carlson, Marieda Kalahar, Mallory Keller, Vivian Olson, Max Webster, Ava Jones, John Olsen, Rowan Halseth, Olivia Milikin-Spray, Christian Gautier, Tyler Howell, Logan King, Fergie Waag; front row: Isabel Taylor, Connar Farlow, Rohan Faber, Ethan Sheppard, Fin Van Rutledge, Patrick Kissinger, Camden Moody and Zane McCourt. Not pictured: Eric Cruz, Oscar Erdmann, Coach Alli Haynes, Clara Parkinson, Luc Pelletier, Jackson Weed and Thorsen Welch.



The 2018 Middle School Cross Country season at Hood River Middle School and Wy’east Middle School saw both teams combined to represent the Hood River Valley.

“This group of runners did a fantastic job this year,” said head coach Aaron Haynes. “We were young and lost a lot of leadership and talent from last year’s outgoing eighth graders, yet this group worked very hard, improved their times as the year went on and showed that they truly fit into the strong tradition of runners that has come to symbolize HRV cross country. They will be fun to watch in the years to come.”

Sixth graders Logan King and Tyler Howell placed first and second with the fastest times of all sixth graders during the last 10 years. Jacob Smith, John Olsen and Ethan Sheppard add to the list of 2018 sixth graders who have top 20 times at Hood River Middle school.

Haynes said middle school cross country in Hood River “provides the perfect opportunity to try a sport with individual performance demands in a friendly team atmosphere.

“It is also a conduit to the highly successful Hood River High School Cross Country program. Middle schoolers race a 3K (1.8 mile) course and high school runners complete 5K (3.1 mile). Changes from past seasons included several new races held in Washington and no Hood River Skip Sparks Race because the track at the high school was being replaced.”

He said the first race Sept. 12 was in Trout Lake, and run on a short 2.5 K course, calling it “a perfect warm up and a chance to work on pacing for the regular season.”

Subsequent races were in The Dalles for the Bridgette Nelson Classic, in which many runners posted the fastest times of the season despite the hilliness of the course, and the Portland Nike Alan Webb Middle School XC race on the Polo Fields at Portland Meadows Horse Track. Mass starts of up to 400 runners made a fast start imperative in order to place well. This was a high level competition with some of the best runners in the region, he said. Boys team leader, Jackson Bullock, posted a season best time and led Hood River to an eighth place finish out of 30 teams. Rosie Thomas ran her fastest 3K race and placed in the top 50 runners to help Hood River to a 16th place finish out of 27 teams.

On Oct. 1, the athletes traveled to another Washington race, The Cottonwood Beach MS Invitational, held in Washougal along the Columbia, and included running beside the river in the sand. Ava Kitt, Vivian Olson, Clara Parkinson, Calla King and Kate Pauley followed a fast Rosie Thomas to the finish to help Hood River place second.

The last race of the regular season happened at Corbett Middle School and consisted of a relatively small field of motivated runners. Hood River captured first place for both the men’s and women’s team at this contest.

Post season racing required two weeks of additional training and traveling to Western Oregon University in Monmouth on Oct. 28 for competition. Bullock, King, Miles Reagan, Howell and John Beckman made up the boys team and the girls team included Rosie Thomas, King, Olivia Milikin-Spray, Rowan Halseth, Marieda Kalahar and Maurine Najjar. Hood River placed well despite the windy conditions and this concluded the Hood River Valley season.



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