Raider cross country opened their season at Tonasket last Saturday. Head Coach Gary Darnold was pleased with the way the runners competed at the opening race of the season.
“The race in Tonasket showed me that our team has the desire to compete,” Darnold said.
The competition at Tonasket was stiff. The winning time in the boys’ race was 15 minutes, 18 seconds, run by Duncan Foresman of Republic. In the girls’ race, reigning State B individual champion Sierra Speiker of Oroville ran it in 16:43. With only four runners, the Raiders did not compete as a team in either the boys’ or girls’ races.
Clare Castrodale, the only girl running for the Raiders on Saturday, finished the race in 27:23, which placed her 30th. Castrodale’s time was a two-minute improvement in her 2.8-mile personal record, which she set at the home race last year in 29:23.
Sophomore Robert George led the Raider boys, finishing 20th with the time of 18:31. George also improved his 2.8-mile PR time by over 90 seconds. Freshman Jerry Palmer came in second for the Raiders, finishing 33rd in 20:05 in his first high school race.
Junior Zach Erickson finished 53rd in 22:51. This was the best first-race time Erickson has had in his high school career.
Coach Darnold sees many positives in the first-race efforts by his squad.
“All of the runners showed they are willing to do what it takes to compete, all had very strong efforts,” he said.
Now the Raiders are looking forward to Saturday when they travel to the Moses Lake Cross Country Invitational at Blue Heron Park.
For practice this week, the Raiders will focus on conditioning. “We will continue to improve with the strong work ethic the runners have shown this far,” Darnold said.
At Moses Lake, the Raiders will face larger schools, such as Moses Lake, 3A University, 2A and Othello and Deer Park. Old Caribou Trail League opponents Omak, Quincy, and Tonasket, along with Royal City, will represent the 1A competition. Tough Central Washington B squads from Liberty Bell and Oroville will also be racing at Moses Lake.