The Oregon Schools Activities Association groups girls for cross country to include schools in the 1A, 2A, and 3A ranks. This large group will do battle on Friday at the Pendleton Community Park to determine the District 3 champion. The teams attending include Adrian (1A), Burns (3A), Condon 1(A), Elgin (1A), Enterprise/Joseph/Wallowa (2A), Four Rivers (1A), Grant Union (2A), Griswold (1A), Heppner/Ione (2A), Horizon Christian/Hood River (1A), Kings Valley Charter (1A), La Pine (3A), Nixyaawii (1A), Nyssa (3A), Pilot Rock, Riverside (3A), Stanfield/Echo (2A), Umatilla (3A), Union/Cove (2A), Vale (3A), and Weston-McEwen (2A).
The top two teams will advance to the state meet with the top team crowned as the district champ. In addition, a runner, if not a member of the top two teams, finishes in the top five, the runner will also make the trip to state.
With this large of a group, the following are the runners expected to be near the lead pack at the finish line:
*Enterprise senior Ellyse Tingelstad has the quickest time this season, running the 5,000 meters in 19 minutes, 39.9 seconds. This will be Tinglestad’s final season in high school cross country so expect a good showing.
*Only Tingelstad and Union senior Jaimee Baxter have run under 20 minutes this year. Like Tingelstad, Baxter is in her final season and to date, has put up a time of 19:54.4.
*Heppner sophomore Hailey Heideman leads a strong Mustang squad into the district meet with the third best time of the year, crossing the line in 20:02.2. Look for Heideman to be pushed and possibly break the 20-minute mark.
*Mustang teammate, junior Madelyn Nichols has the fourth best time at 20:05.4. The two Heppner runners should be close to each other at the end.
*Burns sophomore Riley Morris brings the Hilanders into the top five with a time of 20:09.8
*The Hilanders again make the top ten times, this time with freshman Brooke Smith. Smith put up a time of 20:19.3, competing against some of the best runners in the northwest at the Bob Firman race in Eagle, Idaho.
*Early in the season, Condon sophomore Kally Wilkins posted a time of 20:31.2 to come in at the eighth spot.
*Nyssa makes the list with senior Olivia Page and her time of 20:31.8. Like others on the listing, Page had quicker times last season and is looking to finish out her high school career on a high note.
*The Hilanders finish out the top ten runners with sophomore Olivia Winn. Winn ran her best time at the recent Grant Union Gold Rush with a time of 20:32.2.
The Burns girls are strong this year and should join the Burns boys on a large bus to state. Do not count out Heppner making a strong showing in the team standings with Union and Enterprise also making a fight for the second slot in the team totals. With the number of seniors making their conceivably last race, upsets in the individual standings could occur.