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Runners get moving at Youth Cross Country event

Dry Hollow Elementary picks up top trophy

Local runners from across The Dalles hustle for position at the 18th annual Elementary School Cross Country race held on Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park. Between Dry Hollow and Colonel Wright, there were 217 of the 290 participants signed up for this free event, which focuses on keeping kids active during the school year.


Local runners from across The Dalles hustle for position at the 18th annual Elementary School Cross Country race held on Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park. Between Dry Hollow and Colonel Wright, there were 217 of the 290 participants signed up for this free event, which focuses on keeping kids active during the school year.



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JR Runyon, on left, happily accepts the trophy for most elementary school attendees from Colonel Wright from instructor Tom Conklin, in a mask, at Colonel Wright. Of the 290 athletes at the 18th annual Elementary School Cross Country Race, Dry Hollow totaled 110.

The numbers were good, and the competition was even better, as 290 boys and girls from kindergarten-through-fifth grade gathered for the 18th annual Elementary School Cross Country races on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sorosis Park.

At the start of the event, The Dalles Middle School cross country coaches Carol Ritchie and Jill Pearson ushered out the middle school kids ahead of the elementary harriers to get the action started.

Athletes in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade then set the pace in a half-mile race.

After that, the second graders hit the course for a half-mile race, and third grade athletes hit their stride for three quarters of a mile at the same time.

The fourth and fifth graders, who duked it out for 1.1 miles, capped a fun-filled day of running.

Last year, Chenowith Elementary School had 98 runners, Dry Hollow added 131, but Colonel Wright lapped the field with an all-time high of 138, so physical education instructor Tom Conklin had a year of bragging rights.

This time around, however, Dry Hollow instructor J.R. Runyon had 110 children signed up, just ahead of Conklin’s group of 107.

Chenowith had 33 runners, St. Mary’s Academy totaled 17 and there were nine home-schooled kids.

Following his win, Runyon and Conklin exchanged the trophy for having the most runners participate.

This event was sponsored by CW PTO, Dry Hollow PTA and C.E.S., who handed ribbons to the top finishers in the races. Conklin said the success of the run is because of the volunteer parents, teachers and community members, who took time out of their busy schedules to help the kids.

The Winter Three 3k, 5k and 10k runs and walks are coming up, with the Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard run at 9 a.m. on Dec. 29.

For more information, go to the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation Department’s website at www.nwprd.org or call 541-296-9533.



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