Cheney Free Press -


Cardinals Outrun Freeman

Also run well in Nike Hole in the Wall Invitational


Last updated 10/14/2021 at 8:12am

Matthew O. Stephens

The Lady Cardinals ran as a pack in order to score well and win the race against Freeman.

MEDICAL LAKE – The Cardinal Varsity cross country team are both undefeated in league events after the girls and boys teams both beat Freeman in Medical Lake on October 6 said coach Gene Blankenship.

Junior varsity girls also prevailed against the Freeman team, and the boys team finished well but didn't have enough runners to officially score in this race.

Grouping together and running as a pack, the varsity girls defeated Freeman 15-50 said coach Blankenship. Grace Grubaugh finished first with a time of 22:28 followed very closely by Kayla Ramsey finishing at 22:30. Jenna Castro came in third for the Cardinals at 22:41the coach said, with Kylie Roberts right behind her at 22:44. Allison Payne and Katie Hiatt both crossed the finish line at 22:52 and Jasmine Cruz finished with a time of 23:59.

Blankenship said Sierra Harden led the pack of junior varsity runners finishing at 23:52. Delaney Gunther finished second for the Cardinals followed by Lillia Figueroa and Hazel Grubaugh third. Emmeline Bergner was the fourth junior varsity girl to cross the finish line with Chloe Parsons finishing fifth for the Cardinals. The coach said Michalyn McCollough, Micaela Eberhardt, and Bayle Bahr closed out the lineup for the junior varsity runners.

Medical Lake also outran Freeman in the boys' varsity race and scored 22-35 with Connor Palmen finishing first at 17:33 with Reid Headrick trailing closely at 17:37 said the coach. Sam Ornelas was the third Cardinal to cross the finish line, followed by Nakai Ornelas. Hector Gomez and Dominick Gifford closed out the field of varsity Cardinal runners.

Paden Buenzli crossed the line first for the junior varsity team, and he was followed by Nathaniel Diaz and Laban Kumenda the coach said.

The Cardinal runners also traveled to Lakewood, Washington on October 9 to compete in the Nike sponsored Hole in the Wall Invitational.

Coach Blankenship said, "The Hole in the Wall is considered one of the premier invitationals in the Pacific Northwest. There were 52 state ranked teams that participated and 5 Nationally ranked teams. So the competition was tough. I felt our teams were exceptionally well behaved and competed to the best of their abilities, as the large number of personal records show. Looking forward to even better performances in the near future!"

Coach Blankenship said "On an accurate, fast course, our Cardinal ladies had 12 personal records, and 2 season bests!"

Kayla Ramsey led the lady Cardinals finishing with a time of 19:57, and Grace Grubaugh finished right after at 19:59. The "Gold Division" had a total of 227 runners and the Varsity girls finished 9th out of 31 teams the coach said.

Matthew O. Stephens

Cardinal runner Connor Palmen finishes first overall running against Freeman High School with teammate Reid Headrick following close behind.

Sierra Harden, running a personal record of 21:56 in the junior varsity race, finished in 4th place. The junior varsity girls finished 15th out of 21 teams.

The boys varsity team finished second in the "Silver Division" against 47 teams said Blankenship. 295 runners competed in the race and the Cardinal boys had 9 personal records and 1 season best. Connor Palmen finished first for the team at 16:13 followed closely by Reid Headrick 16:16, finishing 3rd and 4th overall.

The boys JV team finished in 34th place among 41 teams, and were led by Dominick Gifford and Angel Mendez said the coach.

Blankenship said, "Next up is our League Dual Meet #3 at Newport on Wednesday October 13. Thank you to all our athletes and volunteer parents who worked our major fundraiser the following day!!! And a special thank you to the Colonel and the Medical Lake Junior ROTC for helping out!"

Matthew can be reached at


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