The cross-country season stopped, but David Ribich hasn't slowed down.
Three weeks after Ribich - a seventh grader at Enterprise Junior High School - finished running for Wallowa County's team, he raced on Nov. 8 in the State Championships organized by USA Track & Field. Ribich finished in ninth place out of 38 in the division of Youth Boys, ages 13 to 14. Ironically, Ribich will celebrate his 13th birthday on Dec. 27.
The trail covered four kilometers (or 2.5 miles) around the Crooked River Ranch in Terrabonne. Ribich had never run such a long distance. Previous meets over the season featured three-kilometer courses. But Ribich rose to the challenge and completed it in exactly 15 minutes.
Ribich qualified for the Region 13 Championships of the USATF's Junior Olympics. The race, scheduled for Nov. 22 at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle, will pit Ribich against other top runners from Pacific Northwest states: Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Alaska. The Youth Boys' race begins at noon.