HRV XC sweeps Ultimook Invite

The Hood River Valley High School cross country season is officially underway after both the boys and the girls teams competed in last weekend’s Ultimook Race Nike Invitational at Tillamook.

The boys and girls from HRV opened the 2018 season with first-place team victories in their respective 5,000 meters 5A-6A varsity competition.

“The boys team performance let it be known this past weekend at Tillamook that they want to be a contender this season,” said head coach Brandon Bertram.

In a 21-team field in the boys 5,000 meters 5A-6A varsity competition, HRV ended with a combined team score of 88, which was enough for a comfortable 20-point lead ahead of second place College Park (108).

The boys team win was led by Josh Haynes and Omar Quintana, who worked side-by-side from gun to tape as they finished the race in fourth and fifth place.

Haynes’ final time was 17 minutes and 14.24 seconds, while Quintana came in at 17:18.62.

HRV sophomore Joshua Humann improved on his time from last year at this event by over seven minutes, finishing with a time of 17:58.94 this year, to be the Eagles’ third team scorer.

“Joshua dedicated 410 miles this summer to put himself in a position to be an impact runner on the boys team this season and it is working,” said Bertram.

Seniors Marshall Bailey and Ben Kaden placed 32nd and 35th to finish up the team championship for HRV.

“The boys team effort last Saturday is just the boost they needed to push for more improvement over the next two months,” said Bertram. “It was an exciting experience to witness these new team scorers take the initiative to make great things happen as a team.”

In the girls 5,000 meters 5A-6A varsity competition, HRV finished with four girls in the top 10 and a total of seven in the top 25.

Those top-finishes across the board for HRV helped lead the Eagles to a 33-point gap between them in first place with 31 final combined points, and North Salem in second place with 64 final combined points.

The top-finisher in the girls competition was HRV junior Frances Dickinson. “She took the lead after the 50-meter long, waist deep mud pit at the first mile and never looked back,” said Bertram.

Dickinson finished with a final time of 19:16.03, which was 24 seconds ahead of second place West Salem’s Jaden Mandal.

Another impressive accomplishment for the girls at the Ultimook Invite was the performance of freshman Brinna Weiseth.

Weiseth placed third overall finishing with a time of 20:00.20. “This was an impressive run for a first timer on the Tillamook course,” said Bertram.

The Ultimook Race Nike Invitational is a unique event held at a hydrangea flower farm.

The course involves a 50-meter mud pit at the first mile, followed by two river crossings and plenty of trails that go over hills throughout the 5K meter course.

Behind Weiseth in seventh place for HRV was senior Evelyne Nunez, who had her best performance at the Tillamook course in her third time competing at this venue with a finish of 20.18.12.

The performance by Nunez was followed by low scoring performances from Chloe Bullock in 10th and Eva Jones in 14th.

Other finishers for the HRV girls: Mieka McKnight (22nd), Lucy Hennessy (25th), Vada Joplin Clay (27th) and Celia Acosta (39th).

“The quality and depth of the team proved strong as all nine girls who raced at this meet finished under 23:15,” said Bertram. “The nine girls had put in a dedicated summer of training together and it is always rewarding to see performances match the effort put in.”

The boys and girls teams celebrated the win Saturday night, but were right back to work Sunday morning with a 8-10 mile long run on the bay ocean spit with teammates and family members.

HRV cross country will travel to Prineville this upcoming Saturday for the Intermountain Conference Preview Meet.

The IMC meet will give HRV its first look at IMC conference teams.

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