NYSSA — Earlier this week, on Wednesday, September 15, the Nyssa Bulldogs hosted the Nyssa Invitational cross-country meet. There were a plethora of local schools in attendance, including Nyssa, Vale, Adrian, Ontario, and Four Rivers Prep. They were allowed the opportunity to compete against opponents from higher classifications in another state, such as Middleton, Borah, and Emmett.

The athletes began their race on the Bulldogs football field, where they ran from end zone to end zone. They proceeded on to the track, where they ran the corner and straight away before leaving the stadium for the remainder of the race. The athletes continued their race on a trail behind the High School, leading up to the athletes arriving back at the stadium for the finish line.

Although the Nyssa Invitational is only a cross-country meet for most athletes. For two Nyssa Bulldogs it was their final, home cross-country meet in their high school careers. Seniors Isaiah Fuentes and Christian Mardock were presented with flowers, balloons, and other various things before the high school portion of the cross-country meet. They did a presentation to recognize the two seniors for their efforts as a Bulldog, as well as their progression through their careers.

The Bulldogs, as a whole, managed to place fifth in the men’s portion of the team scores with 142 points. They were unable to earn a score in the women’s portion due to the low number of athletes; the teams will need five runners to qualify for a team score. Nyssa freshman, the only female runner for the Bulldogs, Megan Ward managed to take 39th place with a time of 33:13.20. The top athletes for the men’s team were sophomore Spencer Romans, Mardock, and junior Martin Mendez. Romans managed to take 20th place by running the time of 20:18.00. Mardock was able to take 28th place with a time of 21:05.18. Additionally, Mendez was able to place 36th, running a time of 22:00.36.

The Antelopes were unable to earn a score as a team, for both men’s and women’s, due to lack of athletes. The men’s team consisted of one runner, senior Chase Johnston, whereas the women’s team consisted of two runners, sophomore Evalyn Nunez and junior Sadie Wagster. Johnston managed to take 25th place with a time of 20:43.38. Additionally, Nunez happened to take 18th place with a time of 25:36.12, whereas Wagster was able to take 27th place with a time of 28:43.70.

The Vikings were able to place sixth as a team in the men’s portion with 156 points, whereas the women’s team were unable to earn a team score, due to lack of athletes. The Lady Vikings were only one athlete shy of being able to earn a team score. The top performers for the Vikings men’s team were sophomore Trevor Stewart, freshman Eli Belnap, and senior Luke Andersen.

For the women’s team, the top performers were sophomore Ava Collins, sophomore Harley Belnap, and junior Jessica Dotson.

Stewart managed to earn a top ten finish, by taking sixth place with a time of 18:37.21. Eli was the next Viking to finish, taking 27th place with a time of 20:54.44. Additionally, Andersen was the next Viking to finish, taking 59th place with a time of 27:14.76. In relation to the Lady Vikings performance, Collins managed to take 22nd place with a time of 27:46.51. Harley was able to take 34th place with a time of 30:32.85. Dotson shortly followed her teammate by taking 36th place with a time of 31:08.25.

The Lady Tigers could relate to the Lady Vikings, in the sense that they both were one athlete shy of qualifying for a team score in the women’s portion of the cross-country meet. In relation, the men’s team managed to place seventh, as a team, with a total of 178 points. The Tigers top performers consisted of junior Michael Gomez, senior Jared Bell, and sophomore Connor Ramos. For the Lady Tigers, the top performers consisted of seniors Trinity Farr, Monica Gomez, and Kinsley Kemble.

Michael was able to earn a top 20 finish, by taking 17th place with a time of 20:10.55. Bell managed to take 58th place with a time of 26.23.22, whereas Ramos happened to take 62nd place with a time of 27:50.29. For the Lady Tigers, Farr managed to take 25th place by running the time of 28:13.50. She was followed by her teammate Monica, who was able to take 31st place with a time of 29:38.88. Additionally, Kemble happened to run a time of 30:52.45, in order to take 35th place.

Four Rivers was unable to earn a score as a team, due to having four athletes on the men’s team and one athlete on the women’s team.

The Lady Falcons freshman Lacatia Mason managed to take 26th place by running the time of 28:20.27. For the men’s team, the Falcons top performers were junior Aiden Herrera, sophomore David Cervantes, and freshman Demetrius Fuentes. Herrera managed to take 39th place by running a time of 22:25.81. Cervantes was able to take 46th place, running a time of 23:28.89. Fuentes was right behind his teammate, taking 47th place with a time of 23:30.52.

The various cross-country teams will continue to progress through their seasons. A portion of the schools will advance to their next cross-country meet, which will be the Payette Open, hosted at McCain Middle School on Wednesday, September 22. The teams that will be competing in the Payette Open consist of Vale, Ontario, and Four Rivers. In relation, Adrian and Nyssa will continue to train until they compete in the two day cross-country meet, the Bob Firman Invitational, hosted at Eagle Island State Park on Friday and Saturday, September 24-25.

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