Two decorated Hermiston High School runners finished their high school cross country careers with impressive performances at the Nike BorderClash in Portland on Saturday.
Bulldog seniors Jose Macias and Alejandro Cisneros competed in the 15th annual running of one of the most prestigious high school races in the Northwest. The event featured the top high school boys and girls runners from Oregon and Washington across all classifications.
Runners qualified for the event by placing near the top in their respective state meets during the high school cross country season. With their finishes at the Oregon 5A state meet, both Macias and Cisneros easily qualified for BorderClash.
Macias finished 13th at BorderClash with a time of 14 minutes and five seconds, with Cisneros not far behind as he finished in 15th place with a time of 14:13. Oregons Matthew Maton won the event with a time of 13:28. Nearly 80 of the best runners in Washington and Oregon competed on the boys side.
Hermiston head coach Jacob Puzey said its an event runners look forward to every year.
Its always a challenging test, he said. It gives some of the best runners in each state a chance to see where they stack up against some of the top talent in the Northwest.
Usually the event takes place on a Sunday morning. This year Nike decided to run the event Saturday night. The course was lined with Christmas lights, and the runners were given glow-in-the-dark uniforms.
Its always a fun and festive atmosphere there, Puzey said. Running at night makes the event unlike anything we do the rest of the year. Its probably the most festive event runners compete in, but, at the same time, its the race with the best competition.
Puzey said Macias and Cisneros are two of the most talented athletes to ever run for Hermiston High School, but they are the hardest-working runners to come through the Hermiston program.
Im really happy theyve gotten to enjoy some success after all of their hard work, Puzey said. No one has worked harder than those to guys. As a coach, you want them to see some of the fruits of their labor.
For Macias and Cisneros, BorderClash was the last event theyll compete in during the fall.
Theyll train with the Bowerman Athletic Club team for the remainder of the fall before taking a short break in preparation for track season.