PASCO — Eastmont senior Jarred Barnes broke the school record for 5k at the State 4A Cross Country meet last Saturday at the Sun Willows Golf Course. Barnes finished 11th with a blazing time of 15:27, 38 seconds better than the previous school record.
“He absolutely obliterated our previous school record. I’m just really proud of him. At state, you have to get a good position from the start without gassing yourself,” said Eastmont Head Coach Gary Millard. “He was 25th at the mile mark and 18th at the two-mile mark. He just kept moving his way up the line finishing in 11th place at the end.”
The goal for Barnes was the finish in the top 10, but he still made the podium. He was the second runner from the Big 9. Millard said he beat the number two runner from the Big 9 who had been beating him all season.
“He just ran a really smart race. It’s pretty amazing how he finished up missing the first 2.5 weeks or so with an injury. That was Jarred’s third trip to state so that always helps,” Millard said.
Wildcat junior Adrian Cabrera was 87th with a time of 16:33. Sophomore Julian Ramos was 148th with a time of 17:15.
“Adrian ran really well. We counted 51 seniors in front of him, so looking ahead to next year, he’s in a good spot. He’s top 40 coming back so let’s see what you can do,” Millard said. “Julian is a sophomore who ran pretty hard and had a terrific finish. He was disappointed, but he ran a respectable time. He’ll look back and be happy with things. It was a good ride for the boys.”
For the Wenatchee boys, sophomore Lars Sorom was 109 with a time of 16:46 while junior Fernando Garcia was 157 with a time of 17:31.
“Lars Sorom had an outstanding race. Breaking 17 minutes on his first time on state course was huge. He was excited. It was a great day for him. Fernando ran okay. He might have peaked early, but he had the chance to run at state, only being a junior. It was a good thing,” said Wenatchee Head Coach Susan Valdez.
The Wenatchee girls’ team finished 13th. Leading the way was freshmen Tatum Grosdidier, who was 54th with a time of 19:29. Junior McKenna White was 65th with a time of 19:35.
“McKenna was a PR for a 5K. That was the highest she’s placed at state. Tatum wanted to be in the top 50 but she ran a great race. I told the kids, the longer you’ve been doing it, the races are always fast. If you want to give yourself a chance to get a good time and be in the top half of the field, you have to go out fast. They did,” Valdez said.
Senior Kristen Sanford was the third finisher for the Panthers. Freshmen Ava Kiesz and Kara Norland were right behind her.
“Our two freshmen, Ava and Kara, have been running pretty consistently all the way through. They had PRs,” Valdez said. “It was a good experience. We have a young team. Our two seniors, it was great for them to run at state. Senior Leila Fischer, it was her second time running at state. It was exciting.”
Eastmont senior Ashlyn Hill was 119. Millard said Hill has been hampered by a knee injury, which impacted her performance.
“She’s had a knee issue the past month. It’s her fourth year making state. She ran well but it was not what we wanted. She was just battling a lot of pain. Disappointing having to battle through injuries when you know she could be a whole lot better,” he said.
The future appears bright for both teams. Each has a good group coming back next season. Valdez is excited about her girls’ team.
“We had some great leadership with our seniors this year. With the middle school program, we have some solid kids who will be freshmen next year. It’s exciting to see the talent we have. We just have to wait and see what happens with the classification changes,” Valdez said.
There are some talented sophomore boys in the Wenatchee program with some talented middle schooler coming up, she said.
“These sophomore kids are hungry for it. Last week, we have 12 kids heading down to state. We had another 12-15 kids who were running with all those kids. They ran the workouts just to be there with the kids,” Valdez said. “They are hungry for getting a boys’ team to state. I think it is possible. We’ll see what happens next year. There is always Eisenhower there lingering.”
Millard said they graduate a fair number of seniors, but they have a lot of kids coming back for both boys and girls.
“I have a lot of young kids on the girls’ team that is going to step up next year. We have four or five freshmen that had a nice go. I think they will learn a lot and be better,” Millard said. “We lose our top gun on the boys’ side but there are some varsity kids coming back. It will depend upon the hard work in the offseason. I think we could be pretty good.”