For the first time in more than two years, cross-country runners from across Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho converged on Baker City’s Quail Ridge Golf Course.
The Baker Invitational meet on Friday, Oct. 1 drew more than 100 runners from more than 15 schools.
The Baker girls placed fourth in the team standings, and the Baker boys fifth in the varsity meet.
On the middle school level, the Baker boys finished seventh and the girls were ninth.
BHS coach Suzy Cole said she is grateful to the city, which owns the 18-hole course, for allowing the event to return.
“It’s a beautiful venue and we really appreciate being able to host our meet there,” Cole said. “So I would like to have a shout out for them (city).”
Cole was also pleased with how the Bulldog runners performed on a sunny and unseasonably warm first day of October.
“The kids did great,” she said. “The tricky thing about home meets is that they are really fun, but they are way different. You don’t have the bus ride, Coach (Ethan) Wolston and I have to put on the meet, so everything falls upon them and then you add friends and families being there, so it’s a different dynamic than a lot of other meets but the kids responded really well.”
Cole said Baker runners have shown improvement from a meet at Stanfield on Sept. 23 and Friday at Quail Ridge.
“Competitively I hope they take away the gains they are continuing to make,” Cole said. “I hope they are taking along the energy and the excitement that Friday’s meet had. The middle of the season can be a tough season, and I am hoping they’re seeing this as exciting, and the possibilities that they have in front of them.”
The Baker girls had four runners in the top 10, led by seniors Emma Baeth (7th overall in 22:01.93) and Sydney Lamb (9th, 22:21.93) with freshman Sofia Kaaen placing 10th at 22:22.45.
Other BHS girls runners:
• Katie Spaugh, sophomore, 34th, 25:32.45
• Paige Marlia, sophomore, 36th, 26:09.38
• Annastasia Johnson, freshman, 46th, 27:28.10
• Avery Collier, freshman, 47th, 27:50.43
• Lilly Collins, fresman, 63rd, 33:11.04
Enterprise won the team crown, followed by Union and Parma, Idaho.
Junior Thaddeus Pepera placed 15th overall in 18:57.13, to lead Baker to the fifth-place finish in the team standings.
Fellow junior Jordan Mills placed 19th at 19:18.80.
Pine Eagle High School had two runners in the top 12.
Senior Caleb Brown was third overall in 17:31.06, while junior Cooper Gover placed 12th in 18:45.15.
Other BHS boys runners:
• Seth Mastrude, junior, 32nd, 20:15.70
• Peyton Waters, freshman, 50th, 21:24.92
• River Clark, junior, 53rd, 21:42.73
• Tanner Lucas, sophomore, 60th, 22:15.24
• Reeve Damschen, junior, 71st, 22:43.74
• Karsten Cikanek, freshman, 78th, 23:14.37
• Matthew Wernicke, freshman, 88th, 23:49.53
• Gaige Birmingham, junior, 98th, 26:20.77
• Seth Holden, freshman, 99th, 26:44.39
• Tristan Mulkey, freshman, 104th, 30:28.21
Enterprise won the boys team title, followed by Union, Parma and Burns.
Baker Middle School results (3,000-meter course)
• Kane Hellburg, 7th grade, 5th, 11:25.32
• Lance Downing, 7th grade, 38th, 12:59.45
• Tristan Klecker, 7th grade, 39th, 12:59.86
• Richard Engstrom, 8th grade, 44th, 13:07.82
• Robert (Tyler) Wirth, 8th grade, 55th, 13:32.92
• Keagan Bott, 8th grade, 67th, 13:51.50
• Colton Shank, 7th grade, 75th, 14:17.13
• Theodore Pepera, 7th grade, 76th, 14:18.67
• Harrison Gaslin, 8th grade, 91st, 15:07.45
• Roman Zickgraf, 8th grade, 15:17.27
• Sage Cuzik, 8th grade, 52nd, 14:57.63
• Ruby Heriza, 7th grade, 55th, 15:11.18
• Gwen Rasmussen, 8th grade, 72nd, 16:17.53
• Meren Jesenko, 8th grade, 75th, 16:27.22
• Riley Hurliman, 8th grade, 80th, 16:37.06
• Jurnee Bliss, 7th grade, 92nd, 18:08.59
The Baker High School teams will compete Friday, Oct. 8 at La Grande.