The Hermiston High School girls cross country team placed second at the Bridgette Nelson Memorial Invitational Friday at the Dalles-Wahtonka. Katie Markwick placed second overall with a time of 20 minutes, 55 seconds.

Head coach Jake Puzey thought it was some of the best running his team has done all season.

“We wanted to see how we matched up with our competition,” Puzey said. “I thought we ran really well today. This was probably our best meet yet.”

Puzey talked about how cross country is all about momentum.

“It doesn’t really matter where you finish in the beginning of the season. It’s about how you are running,” Puzey said. “We are trying to build off each week so we our running our best come the playoffs.”

The Hermiston boys cross country team will be competing in the Nike Pre Nationals today in Portland. Puzey likes the progress that team has made, as well.

“We’ve got nine really great runners with times that are all very close to each other,” Puzey said.

Most high school cross country meets allow seven varsity participants. This meet has several heats at the varsity level, and Puzey plans for all of his runners to compete.

“We’re going to put our two best runners in the elite tier and let them go up against some of the best runners on the West Coast,” Puzey said. “They will get some great experience, and the remaining seven will still get to run.”

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