The Hood River Valley High School cross country teams closed out their regular season at Sorosis Park in The Dalles Oct. 31. Crook County, Pendleton, Ridgeview, Redmond and host The Dalles/ Dufur participated in Thursday’s race.
Four Eagle girls placed in the top 10 while their male counterparts had three.
Seniors Josephine Dickinson took first with a time of 19:31.19, Lottie Bromham came in third seven seconds later, Frances Dickinson in fourth with 20:01.89 and junior Chloe Bullock in fifth at 20:24.40.
Senior Omar Quintana placed sixth with a time of 16:57.62, freshman Elliot Hawley came in seventh two seconds later and senior Braeden Blakeney ranked ninth at 17:08.00.
Brandon Bertram, HRV’s head coach, said expectations and training began as far back as June.
“We always approach it every day as a process. Starting in June it’s part of the process that we can only get better every day with each step,” said Bertram. “Knowing that everybody is putting all their effort and work into it just keeps it going every day. We really don’t put anything on the poster to say, ‘This is what we’re going out to get,’ we know that if we put the work in, it’s going to give us the best opportunity for our team to achieve the highest level.”
Senior Celia Acosta said that working as a team makes the squad perform at it’s highest. She has been with the team since her freshman year and said the bond has grown stronger since then.
“We have a really big group of seniors,” said Acosta. “In my freshman year we had a really young team and we were fast but really nervous and had didn’t have a lot of confidence. Growing up and running with that group of girls for four years makes you strong and want to work for each other. That’s what makes it a really strong team.”
The group of seniors laid out the blueprint for the younger team members, said Bertram. The team has a family culture where if seven runners succeed all 60 of the kids succeed, he said.
HRV’s next stop is the state championship Nov. 9 at 1:45 p.m. at Lane Community College in Eugene. This race will be challenging but expects all runners to perform at their highest, said Bertram.
“Last year the way all the teams lined up is a different situation this year and this year’s definitely going to be a tight race. We know it’s going to be close and we’re excited for that challenge,” said Bertram. “We saw that challenge coming at the start of the year and we’ve been working at it getting ready for this race specifically the entire year. But we’re just working day to day knowing we could do that and we know we’re going to have to put our best game forward.”