Six varsity girls — two sophomores and four freshman — competed in their first varsity race as an Eagle, Saturday in The Dalles.
The boys varsity, led by Elliot Hawley, finished first of the six conference schools, girls varsity was second by only 7 points behind The Dalles and junior varsity boys and girls both won. The event was the annual Bridgette Neilson Invitational at Sorosis Park.
“Our teams performed fantastic,” said coach Brandon Bertram, who termed it a preview for the IMC (Intermountain Conference) meet, also at Sorosis on Oct. 31.
The varsity team will be competing at Nike PDX this weekend against schools from all over the nation; barring injury, Bertram will run his most experienced line-up at Nike, a group including premier runners Frances and Josephine Dickenson, who sat out Saturday’s race.
“It will be a good test for our team to assess where we are at this point in the mid-season,” Bertram said.
The meet in The Dalles was a chance for varsity competition for some young runners from Bertram’s deep program (60 in high school, and 70 currently in the middle school program.)
Amelia Huxtable led the way with Calla King and Kate Pauly close behind. Phoebe Wood, Vivian Olsen, and Sophie Kaden rounded out the scoring.
“We rested some runners, thus opening a great opportunity for our younger runners to run at a new level of race,” Bertram said.
“They competed very strong throughout the race,” he said.
“The most impressive statistic being that the six girls passed 13 runners and were caught by zero in the final mile, a great example the of strength the young group has,” he said.
The boys continued what Bertram called “their season’s momentum.”
Freshman Elliot Hawley led the Eagles with a personal best time, followed by senior Sam Janesek and Braedan Blackeney. First time varsity runners and team scorers were Aiden Gonzalez-Haynie, Geoffrey Shoaf and Jaime Rodriquez.
Bertram said of Hawley, King and Pauly, “These kids did great stepping up into a big situation and performing. It shows how deep our team is when our front seven can rest and allow our next seven to shine to see how good of runners they really are.”
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