WEIPPE — Last week’s meet Sept. 26 at Deyo Reservoir marked a milestone for the Clearwater Valley-Kamiah cross-country co-op, as CV/K top girls runner Melanie Gianopulos returned to action after missing the first few races of the fall.

“Overall, times were pretty slow due to the true ‘cross-country’ nature of the course which was primarily on trails with uneven footing,” CV/K coach Janna Privette told the Free Press. “I am looking forward to seeing results after we run at Inland Empire in Lewiston, as it is a predictable, fast course and should give us a good indication of where our runners are going into the end of the season.”

“I think it was a good starting point for Melanie,” Privette added, “especially considering she hasn't really had any good workouts this season. We feel confident that she will improve significantly in the month between now and districts.”

Gianopulos ended up fourth among 16 girls in the varsity race, running 45 seconds behind Prairie’s Ciara Chaffee (third, 23:36). The top two placers on the girls side, both of Troy, finished 10 seconds apart, with Halee Bohman crossing first in 22:59.

Privette also held out praise for Dorian Hix, who, Privette said, finished three minutes faster Sept. 19 at Deary than her previous personal best.

On the boys side, Carson Sellers of Timberline placed first in 17:51. Joe McGuigan of Nezperce placed second in 18:25. CV’s Preston Amerman crossed fourth in 19:32, and Prairie’s Will Hooper was fifth in 20:30. “I have been very impressed with the motivation of Preston, who has been our first runner, and also with Ryan Sackett, who is just a freshman, but has consistently been our second runner,” Privette said. “Overall I have been very happy with the pack running our boys have been doing, and I feel it will continue to benefit them as we move into some later season meets.”

CV/K had a pack of four — Jonas Oatman, Michael Popp, Laban Francis and Derek Loewen — all finish the Weippe course (3.1 miles) in about 21 minutes. Sackett, slowed by illness at Weippe, had finished the 2.7-mile Deary course in 18:17.

McGuigan placed first on the Deary course, with a time of 16:40.

Coming — The Inland Empire Challenge is this Saturday, Oct. 5, in Lewiston. Middle school races are slated for an 8 a.m. girls start, with JV races at 9:30 a.m. Varsity girls race at 11 a.m. and varsity boys start at 11:45.

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