Hughes, Bender lead the pack
Pouring rain didn't stop Sandy's cross country team from competing in a six-team meet at Reynolds High School Wednesday, Sept. 20.
The Pioneer boys finished sixth with a team score of 153, led by sophomore Wes Hughes' time of 18:32.08.
Hughes wasn't overly pleased with his performance - he was hoping for something in the 17.45 range - but he thought conditions were OK despite the weather.
'It was slick in the woods,' he said, referring to a trail on the school's perimeter. 'But it wasn't bad because it had gravel, and it was underneath trees.'
Another Sandy sophomore, Lynsey Bender, finished with the best time on the girls' side with a mark of 21:32.62.
The girls team came in fourth with a score of 74, placing them ahead of Franklin (80) and Madison (incomplete).
Bender agreed with Hughes that the terrain was manageable, all things considered.
'It was narrow on the trail,' she said, 'but the rest was pretty easy.'
Bryce Burgess of Franklin, a likely state title contender, was the top finisher overall, with a time of 16:04.42.
'Remember the name,' said one Franklin parent in attendance.
And Hood River's Erin Jones was the top girls runner, coming in at 20:07.89.
Host Reynolds had the top team scores for both boys (43) and girls (51).
The Reynolds boys swept dual competition as well, and the Raiders scored a perfect 15 versus Sandy in the process. Hood River also defeated Sandy's boys in dual action, winning 21-34.
In girls dual competition, Hood River narrowly defeated Sandy 27-28.
Sandy also lost to Reynolds in dual competition, 22-35.
Jacob Cuniff, one of Sandy's top boys runners, was held out of the day's events due to illness. Cuniff, a junior, has been pulling double-duty as a cross country runner and goalie for the boys soccer team.