The combined EHS cross-country team regularly finds new heights to explore and the past week was no exception. The high school team traveled to Pendleton Oct. 19 for the Kyle Burnside Wildhorse Invite, and the middle school squad competed at the Middle School East Side Championships, also in Pendleton, the following day.
The high school thinclads saw the girls squad placing third in the 10-team competition, scoring 72 points, just behind The Dalles, Hood River Valley and Hermiston, all much larger schools.
Kyla Hook placed third, tying her personal best, while Ellyse Tingelstad nailed down the sixth spot with a season record.
“All the girls ran great,” Coach Dan Moody said. “Ashley Wilson and Ella Coughlan stepped up big-time. They had to beat Union’s four and five girls, and they did so decisively.”
Wilson and Coughlan placed 24th and 27th respectively with personal records.
The boys placed 10th in a field of 15 teams. Moody highlighted the performances of James Madsen and Cole Gomes, both of whom ran personal record times in the 35th and 42nd slots respectively.
“I think all 14 of the high school kids posted the best times of their careers or season. Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time,” Moody said with a laugh. “This shows that hard work is being rewarded. It’s not because of me, but because of the kids.”
The high school squad will travel to Pendleton’s Community Park for the Special District 5 championships Oct. 27.
The junior high squad, particularly the boys, cleaned up at the east side championships. Competing against 119 runners, the boys took first in a field of 10 teams, capturing three of the top four spots with future high school stars Bayden Menton, Zac Knapp and Henry Coughlan’s first, second and fourth place finishes, respectively. Every member of the team posted personal records.
The girls placed third, led by Greta Carlsen’s 10th-place finish and Payton Tippet’s 14th-place contribution. Both were also personal records.
“That was my highlight of my two days,” Moody said. “All 14 of them that ran posted personal bests. This is an exceptional bunch of runners.”
The entire boys team and some of the girls will travel with Moody to Monmouth to compete in the state PDXC middle school meet on Sunday.
“They deserve to go and compete because they’ve done so well,” Moody said.