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Clearwater Valley News: Kamiah and CV combine to form cross-country team

Clearwater Valley

Clearwater Valley


Norma Staaf 208-993-0689

— I spent a beautiful Saturday morning at the “dash and splash” high school invitational cross-country meet at Ponderosa State Park on the shores of Payette Lake near McCall. It was the first meet of the season for the combined Clearwater Valley- Kamiah High Schools. The team sports a different uniform with C-v-K instead of the usual CV Rams and Kamiah Kubs. Male and female runners from both schools share a single coach (Kamiah science teacher, Janna Privette) and practice and travel together.

Before the races began, runners from different teams were scrambled into 10 new groups with each coming up with a cheer, song or skit to show their spirit. It was a fun icebreaker to get the runners from different teams talking to each other at the start of the season.

Cross-country is a unique sport with runners traversing trails through the forest for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) instead of a track, field or court like many other sports. It’s also one of the only sports that can be a workout for spectators (and photographers) who need to scramble to catch the runners at various stages of the races.


Free Press / Norma Staaf (Top) Melanie Gianopulos sprints for the finish in 2nd place; and (above) Preston Amerman at a mixed team icebreaker before the race.

I talked to Coach Privette after the meet. She told me “It was nice to start the season off with a race in such a beautiful setting. Although we had many runners who couldn’t compete due to early season injuries or not having enough practices, we had several new runners who had great first racing experiences. I was especially happy with returning runners, Melanie Gianopulos, who placed 2nd overall in the girls race and Kevin Hill, a senior who led his team through most of the race to a strong finish. I look forward to seeing what these runners can do throughout the rest of the season.”

If you are inspired to run (or walk), remember the Track Splash Attack 5-kilometer race is happening on Saturday, Sept. 1, as a fund-raiser for the cross-country and track program. It starts at 8 a.m. near the Kamiah High School track on Hill Street. You can preregister at Higher Grounds Coffee, 308 Hill Street or Cedar Creek Creations, 206 Fir Street in Kamiah or online. For more information and listings of many other Kamiah Barbecue Days events check out the Kamiah chamber’s Facebook page or look for posters around town.

Last year some of the students on the Upriver Youth Leadership Council’s (UYLC) student advisory board noticed that Barbecue Days did not include many youth specific activities. This year 12 activities such as a bungee run, climbing wall, obstacle course and laser tag have been added in a partnership with the UYLC, Wa-A’Yas community center and the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce. Activities will run from 1 to 8 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 1. I will be there helping with one of youth zone activities. It should be entertaining!


Free Press / Norma Staaf Cross-country members (L-R) Preston Amerman, Robert Whitney and Kevin Hill watch a group of runners.


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