MOSES LAKE — Cross country teams came together at Blue Heron Park on Saturday for the Moses Lake Invitational.
Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) took first place overall in both the boys’ and girls’ varsity divisions on Saturday. Connell and Brewster placed second and third for the boys, while Moses Lake finished fourth overall, and first out of the large schools participating. Ephrata finished eighth overall, while Quincy came in at 13th.
Lakeside’s Brayden Merrill took first with a time of 16:15.30, while Lakeside’s Matise Mulch took first for the girls, with a time of 19:00.9.
In the girls’ division, Moses Lake placed second overall, and first out of the large schools participating. Ephrata came in at fifth overall.
Moses Lake head coach Larry Dagnon after the races concluded said both teams were “awesome.”
“This is a tough course,” Dagnon said. “The ground’s a little bit soft, it’s one of the harder 5K courses you’ll find. You’ve got hills, you’ve got sand, you’ve got straw. There’s just a lot of things that will slow you up.”
With Nicholas Elliot, Dagnon said you will always have “one of the top runners in the league,” with the Moses Lake coach saying the junior followed up a great week of practice with a strong performance.
“No one disappointed,” Dagnon said. “That top seven of that boy’s crew, man, they represented. They show a lot of resolve. That’s a tough group of kids.”
For the girls team, Dagnon said it was a solid performance all-around.
“They just all ran solid races,” he said. “They didn’t just run, they raced today.”
Three seniors on the Moses Lake girls’ team participated in their final Moses Lake Invitational over the weekend. Carlie Gregg said in her last time out at the event, she just wanted to leave everything out there.
“I’m a senior, so it’s my last year so kind of just had to give it all you got,” Gregg said.
Growing up here, fellow senior Mikayla Cooper said it’s like “leaving home,”
“It’s very emotional,” Cooper said. “I haven’t quite processed it all the way yet. It’s really sad. I love running here, I’ve run here since sixth grade.”
In just her second race of the year, Camille Carpenter said she was nervous not coming in with the experience the other girls have so far this season. Carpenter said she tries not to worry too much about other people, and focus on her own approach coming in.
“I just try and stay in my own head, and most the time I’ll freak myself out so I’ll just sing songs,” Carpenter said. “I’ll just dumb it down to what I need for districts and not worry too much about right now.”
Dagnon said after the event, as the season winds down, he’s focusing on trying to get his team to sneak into State.
“First, we’re trying to get those individuals in and then, maybe, if the stars align, we can get the team in,” Dagnon said. “We’ve got the potential to. It just matters if everything lines up.”
Ephrata head coach Frank Moore said he knew the event was going to be tough for his team coming in after running in Yakima on Thursday. Moore said the real focus was on looking ahead.
“We still want to make the most out of that and get the physical part, the first two-thirds, and then our kids knew, now I’m gonna mental test on the last third and old my form when I’m barely crawling,” Moore said.
Moving forward, Ephrata said he’s working to get his team set for the rest of the season before the district finals, with a race at home coming up on Thursday.
“Everybody seems to run well at home,” Moore said.
Below are results and times for some of the top finishers locally.
Boys varsity: 7) Nicholas Elliot, Moses Lake, 16:58.1, 22) Kolby Tune, Ephrata, 17:40.2, 23) Trenton Hawes, Ephrata, 17:46.5, 30) Andrew Makin, Moses Lake, 17:55.4, 35) Ethan LaBonte, Moses Lake, 18:05.7, 37) Garrett Sands, Moses Lake, 18:07.7, 39) Jonathan Tanguma, Moses Lake, 18:11.3
Girls varsity: 4) Bryn Heikes, Quincy, 20:00.1, 5) Kaidyn Johnson, Ephrata, 20:04.0, 6) Carlie Gregg, Moses Lake, 20:11.8, 7) Mikayla Cooper, Moses Lake, 20:12.7, 10) Camille Carpenter, Moses Lake, 20:37.0, 13) Jane Kennedy, Quincy, 20:56.0, 16) Camryn Holterhoff, Moses Lake, 21:15.7, 20) Adrianna Redstar, Ephrata, 22:26.6