What is believed to be the first middle school cross country meet to be held at Dos Picos Park took place on Oct. 23.
Olive Peirce Middle School not only hosted the 10-school meet but also won the eighth-grade boys race.
“It’s pretty great to have 10 schools,” said Olive Peirce cross country coach J.J. Sclar.
The meet was organized by Sclar, Mike Hughes, and Tonya Anthony.
Hughes and Anthony previously had children at Olive Peirce. The three planned and created the 1.66-mile course at the park.
The meet had 17 parent volunteers consisting of present and past parents of Olive Peirce students.
“That was kind of the key point,” Sclar said of the meet’s success.
Competition included more than 220 student-athletes. Four races were held: Eighth-grade boys, eighth-grade girls, boys in sixth or seventh grade, and girls in sixth or seventh grade.
San Elijo Hills Middle School won the eighth-grade boys competition while Madison Middle School in Vista took first place in both contests for runners in sixth or seventh grade. Olive Peirce did not have enough runners to field a full team in the eighth-grade girls race or in the races for sixth-graders and seventh-graders.
The first individual runner across the finish line in the eighth-grade boys race was Scott Snow of Valley Middle School in Carlsbad, who had a time of 9:37. Olive Peirce’s Josh Spieker placed sixth with a time of 10:11, Darien Hightower was ninth at 10:32, Josh Sears finished tenth and posted a time of 10:33, Ali Aparicio’s time of 10:37 was worth 11th place, and Jordan Bylund had a 12th-place time of 10:38.
“The guys worked well together,” Sclar said of a 27-second separation between the five Olive Peirce runners.
Sarah Heisner of Tri-City Christian, who posted a time of 10:32, won the eighth-grade girls individual race. The top Olive Peirce finisher was Brianna Wallace, who completed the course in 12:18 and earned 12th place.
In addition to winning the team race for sixth-grade and seventh-grade boys, Madison Middle School had the individual winner, Nick Dersaci, who took 10:11 to complete the course. Olive Peirce sixth-grader Isaiah Spieker finished fourth with a time of 10:32 and Olive Peirce seventh-grader Ryan Graf had a time of 10:42 to place seventh.
The individual race for sixth-grade and seventh-grade girls was won by Emma Abrahamson of Diegueno Middle School in Encinitas.
Olive Peirce had no sixth-grade girls in the race, and the top seventh-grade girl for the Bulldogs was Anna Mazzola, who posted a seventh-place time of 11:45.
“They all ran close to their personal bests if not their personal bests,” Sclar said of the Olive Peirce student-athletes.