Hundreds of runners flocked to Tillamook to endure the dirt and mud of the Hydrangea Ranch. Amongst the bunch was the south county cross country squad from Nestucca, who got their first taste of action; and well, mud.
The Bobcat girls team started things off in the 5,000-meter varsity 1A-4A race, which featured four runners from Nestucca among 126 competitors. The top Bobcat finisher was senior Jessica Bailey with a time of 25:13.7, earning 53 place.
Head coach Tyler Bentley was also happy with the performances of senior Becca Ziegler, who crossed the line at 27:28.88 and sophomore Natasha Wehrley, who was right behind her at the 28:20.4 mark.
“I was especially impressed with Natasha and Becca’s races,” Bentley said. “I think they’re set up to have really good seasons.”
In the boys 5,000-meter varsity 1A-4A race, the Nestucca team of six faced a larger crowd of 206 runners braving the wet and muddy course. Top finisher for the ‘Cats was senior Joe Wilkinson, who came in at 19:09.64, placing 40 overall. Junior Gustavo Camacho crossed the finish line second among the Nestucca runners with a time of 20:27.4.
Bentley said it was a good start to the season for both boys and girls teams and is looking forward to what his squad can do in dryer conditions.
“We didn’t go out with the goal of having good finishing times, but our one-mile splits were equal to or better than expected,” Bentley said. “Now we can settle into a rhythm and shoot for some good performances at our upcoming races.”
Next up for Nestucca is the Darrel Deedon Cascade Invitational Sept. 6 at Cascade High School. The race is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.