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Struyck, Pauley medal at middle school cross country championship meet

Wildcats fourth among 6/7 girls, fifth for eighth grade boys

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The North County Middle School Cross Country League championship meet was held Oct. 25 at Walnut Grove Park in San Marcos, and two Sullivan Middle School runners received medals for finishing among the top 20 in their race.

Seventh grader Sienna Struyck finished sixth among the 95 sixth grade and seventh grade girls who competed in the championship race. Jackson Pauley is in seventh grade but ran in the eighth-grade boys race and placed 14th.

Sullivan's sixth and seventh grade girls placed fourth as a team while the Wildcats' eighth-grade boys were the fifth-place team.

"The kids really grew confident," said Sullivan coach Ennis Pipe.

This year Sullivan had 19 runners. "It was kind of a rebuilding year," Pipe said.

The North County Middle School Cross Country League had four meets prior to the championship meet. The first of those took place Sept. 21 at Woodland Park Middle School in San Marcos, and the runners used a 1.55-mile course. Cross country team scores add the positions of a school's first five finishers; the sixth and seventh runners are not scored but can add points to other teams' totals.

Sullivan's eighth-grade boys placed fifth as did the Wildcats' sixth/seventh grade girls. The Sullivan sixth/seventh boys were sixth. No eighth grade girls were on this year's Sullivan team.

Struyck had a time of 12:03.76 to place 10th in the sixth grade and seventh grade girls race. A sixth grade or seventh grade student can run in an eighth grade race; Pauley was the only seventh grader in the eighth-grade boys race Sept. 21 and had the 14th-place time of 10:26.49.

Sullivan's first finisher in the sixth grade and seventh grade boys race, seventh grader Elijah Tyler, was 51st with a time of 11:49.30 while seventh grader Alexander Nord finished 52nd at 11:50.05.

The course Sept. 28 at San Elijo Middle School was 1.65 miles. Sullivan's sixth/seventh girls were fourth; the Wildcats placed fifth among eighth grade boys, and the sixth/seventh boys took sixth place. San Marcos Middle School hosted the Oct. 5 meet, whose course was 1.85 miles; the Wildcats had the same team positions they had the previous week.

A minimum of five runners is required for a team score, and Sullivan did not have that number of sixth/seventh boys Oct. 19 at Valley Center Middle School. The sixth/seventh girls and the eighth-grade boys both placed fourth.

Although Sullivan only had four boys, Nord finished the 1.7-mile course in 12:05.26 for a season-best 32nd place; he was not among the top 50 finishers in any of the first three races. Struyck took 10th among sixth/seventh girls with a 12:03.76 performance. Pauley finished in 10:26.49 for 14th place in the eighth-grade boys race.

Sullivan had three sixth-grade boys, four seventh-grade boys, and four eighth-grade boys along with six sixth-grade girls and two seventh-grade girls. None of the sixth-grade boys competed in the championship race while Pauley, Nord, and Tyler comprised the Wildcats' seventh-grade boys contingent and three of the eighth-grade boys competed. Pipe placed all of his seventh-grade boys in the eighth-grade race, and they were the only seventh graders in that competition.

The course at the championship meet was 2.0 miles. Struyck had a time of 14:11.93. "She's just a natural runner," Pipe said. "She's just got a natural running ability."

Sullivan had a sixth/seventh girls team score of 112 points. San Elijo Middle School had the third-place total of 71 points. Valley Center Middle School was fifth with 120 points.

Sixth grader Faith Smith finished in 15:25.78 for 26th place. The 33rd-place time of sixth grader Olivia Gold was 16:07.91. Seventh grader Cassandra Mencias completed the course in 16:13.04 for 34th place. Sixth grader Madison Payne became the 74th finisher 19:10.66 after the race began.

Pauley finished in 12:53.69. "He got progressively faster as the season went on," Pipe said. "He really enjoys running."

Nord placed 28th and had a time of 14:00.53. Tyler took 34th place with a 14:26.90 performance.

"The seventh graders really held their own," Pipe said.

Sullivan's other three runners in that race are eighth graders. Daniel Montejo posted a time of 14:36.55 for 35th place, Qiuyi Yan finished 37th and had a time of 14:59.05, and Emmanuel Monsalvo was 48th with a time of 16:40.46.

This was Pipe's first season as Sullivan's cross country coach. "They were a good group of athletes," he said. "Very excited to see what we'll be able to do next year."


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